Huntington Beach Police Seek SUV Thief Who Ran Over Vehicle’s Owner

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Surveillance video released by Huntington Beach police shows the theft of a Suzuki Sidekick outside Hoag Health Center on Sept. 6, 2016.

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A man's attempt to stop the broad-daylight theft of his SUV from in front of a Huntington Beach urgent care center was caught on video, and police on Friday asked for help identifying the thief.

The crime occurred about noon Tuesday in front of Hoag Health Center at 19582 Beach Blvd., according to a Huntington Beach Police Department Facebook post.

The victim left his gray 1995 Suzuki Sidekick running when he walked his mother into the medical building, according to police Officer Jennifer Marlatt.

The thief walked up from nearby, got into the vehicle and began to drive away.

But, as shown in the 23-second surveillance video released by police, the SUV’s owner came rushing out and stood in front of the Sidekick, attempting to stop it. He clung briefly to the hood as the thief continued driving forward.

The owner tumbled off the hood and was run over. The Suzuki sped off.

The victim received minor injuries and the Suzuki was found later in the day Tuesday, Marlatt said.

On Facebook, police called the crime a carjacking. They asked for help finding the thief.

The thief was described as a white man, 30 to 35 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 140 pounds, with brown hair and a gray stubbly beard. He was wearing a red flannel shirt, what appeared to be a black flat-bill style hat, and slipper-style shoes without laces, police said.

He appeared to be homeless, the victim told police.

In response to a comment on Facebook about a recycling center at the nearby Newland Center strip mall, the Police Department said investigators hope "someone who frequents the shopping center may recognize the description of the suspect and can say if they have seen someone matching that description hanging out in an area near there."

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 714-375-5066, or, to remain anonymous, 855-847-6227.

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