NEWTON FALLS, Ohio (WKBN) – An investigation is underway in Newton Falls after someone stole a pickup truck in broad daylight from a busy part of town.
The victim, Christopher Tibbs, has advice for other drivers.
“I think everybody’s done it at one time, just this time it didn’t work out for me,” he said.
Tibbs says it’s something he’s done countless times before, leaving his truck running while going into a store to quickly grab something. Unfortunately, Sunday afternoon when Tibbs came back out, his red truck was gone.
“I mean, I was probably in there 5-10 minutes tops and came out and my truck was gone and at first I kinda thought it was a joke,” he said.
It was anything but a joke though. Surveillance camera video from Ace Hardware captured someone getting into Tibbs’ truck and take off down the road with it, along with his hunting gear, crossbow and everything else inside.
“I just couldn’t believe it. I mean, Newton Falls is just a small town and just normally stuff like that don’t happen,” he said.
“Keys were in the car and somebody saw the opportunity. Maybe they just didn’t want to go for a walk. It was a cold day, figured they’d take a warm ride,” said Newton Falls Police Sgt. Stephen Storm.
“Just because you leave your keys in there doesn’t give someone the right to steal your stuff, you know?” Tibbs said.
Police say the truck was found abandoned in Portage County. They’re still looking for the person who drove off with it.
Tibbs says his belongings inside were taken, the exhaust was cut off and the back window was broken out.
Even though he learned his lesson the hard way, Tibbs is encouraging other drivers to be sure to remove their keys from their cars before entering a store.
“It takes an extra two seconds. I mean, I guess I was just being lazy. So don’t be lazy because the guy that’s watching you get out of your car might not be and they’ll take it,” Tibbs said.