ATLANTA - Surveillance video shows the moment a couple tried to stop a car thief breaking into their car in broad daylight on a busy road.
The Zesto on Piedmont Road gave the couple the video from the July 4 theft in hopes that someone will recognize the thief and turn him in.
Video shows the thief casing the car and the parking lot for several minutes as the couple goes inside to get ice cream. They had locked the car but left the A/C on because their puppy was in the back seat.
"It was hot outside so we left the dog in the car, but we wanted to leave the A/C running. We thought she’d be fine, we’ll only be a minute," the woman said.
As the couple was standing at the counter, an employee noticed the man breaking out the back window of their locked car. They ran outside and confronted the thief, accidentally engaging the key fob as they did, which allowed the thief to put it in drive.
As the couple opened the doors, the thief drove off with the couple’s dog still inside the car. The woman jumped into the passenger side to stop him.
“It was a split-second decision,” she told Channel 2’s Tyisha Fernandes.
The woman said looking back, she knows that was not the best way to handle it, but in the moment, all she could think of was their dog, Milly, who they’d just gotten from the Humane Society the week before.
"I was not letting anything happen to that dog. We just got her, and I'm thinking, 'He's gonna drive away with her. He's gonna hurt her,'" the woman said.
While Zesto employees called police, the woman fought the man as he drove the wrong way down Piedmont Road.
"At first he said, 'No, you get out of the car,' and I was like, 'No, you get out of the car.' And I just started grabbing his collar and hitting him as hard as I could," she said.
The car then crashed into another car, and the thief took off.
The couple hopes this surveillance video will help identify the thief. If you have any information, contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477. You can remain anonymous.
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