When two people tried to drive off in Francis Payette’s pickup truck, he did the only thing that seemed to make sense at the time: grab onto a rack behind the cab and hold on for dear life.
The Kamloops, B.C., man told Kamloops This Week that his truck was stolen outside his home two weeks ago. He reported the theft to the police and posted photos of his truck on social media.
Last Wednesday, a friend called him to let him know he’d seen his truck in a parking lot. When Payette arrived at the lot, he found a man and a woman sitting in his pickup truck. He knocked on the window and told them to get out of his car.
The woman, who was driving, put the car into gear. That was when he grabbed onto the rack.
“I was like, ‘What do you do? Let them drive away?’ I was like, ‘No, I’m going to stop them’ — and I did stop them,” Payette said.
Payette was taken on a wild ride 20-kilometre ride, in which the truck exceeded speeds of 100 km/h.
“She’s hitting cars, she’s going through traffic, she’s trying to get me off — but she didn’t get me off,” he said.
“I just wanted my truck back.”
Eventually, the truck’s motor died and caught fire after the driver crashed through a fence and into a field.
Kamloops RCMP said they arrested two suspects who were taken to hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Payette was miraculously uninjured.
“We’re very thankful that there were no serious injuries to anyone involved in this situation,” RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie said.
“We suggest that the public contacts the police if they witness a stolen vehicle being driven. Luckily, the owner was not injured, but it could have been a very different outcome.”