Man gets Chevy truck stolen while he was warming up engine

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man says he was warming up his pick-up truck in a parking lot in southwest Houston when a thief jumped in and drove off, causing a serious crash..

It happened at the intersection of Richmond Avenue and Fondren Road at around 6 a.m. Friday.

Mario Beltran, the owner of the truck, said he was trying to warm up his gray Chevy Silverado and claims he saw two suspicious men in the parking lot.

"Something in my heart told me to go and tell my wife to lock the door and be careful," said Beltran, who lives near the intersection. "When I got out, I left my truck running and I told my wife 'Lock the door,' and when that happened, they got in the truck and peeled off."

It was shortly after that the thief was headed eastbound on Richmond Avenue when investigators say the driver ran a red light. The driver also rear ended an innocent driver in a Prius who had just made a turn onto the street.

At that point, Beltran says he jumped into another vehicle and began following the driver when the crash happened.

"Two seconds later, I see a flash and it happened here and they had wrecked here," explained Beltran, pointing to the intersection. "That's what happened."

The impact was so severe, both vehicles involved were pushed several hundred feet down Richmond, eventually crashing into a pole. Police believe there was only one person inside the stolen truck. The suspect ran away on foot and has not been found.

"He's a coward, man," said Beltran. "A big coward."

Police do not have a suspect description and are asking anyone with information regarding the crash to come forward.

RELATED: Thieves caught on camera stealing truck from Houston dealership

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The car thieves were able to distract the salesman, taking the keys to a brand new truck and coming back later to drive it away.



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