Police: Pueblo man dies after trying to stop car thief

Crime

A Pueblo man has died after he was dragged along a street while trying to stop his car from being stolen Monday morning, according to police.

Police said the theft happened around 7:45 a.m. The victim had left his 2001 Jeep Cherokee running in front of his home on East Fifth Street, according to police.

“It was a crime of opportunity,” said Sgt. Frank Ortega with Pueblo Police. “Criminals will take those opportunities any time they are presented to them.”

When the suspect tried to take the Jeep, the victim tried to stop him, according to police. The victim was hanging on the outside of the Jeep as the suspect drove away. He fell off the Jeep in the area of Joplin Avenue and Sixth Street–about three blocks away from his house.

“We’ve had similar situations,” Ortega said. “Not to the extent where somebody has died as a result but, we’ve had other instances where people have tried to physically stop somebody from driving off in their vehicle.”

The victim was taken to the hospital, where he was declared dead. 

Police found the Jeep on Socorro Place in southeastern Pueblo. 

Police are still looking for the suspect. They believe he lives in the neighborhood near Joplin and Sixth, where the crime occurred. He is described only as a white or Hispanic man with a thin build. He was wearing a high-visibility yellow/green traffic safety vest and a blue hat with a red brim. 

The incident was captured on surveillance video, which can be seen below: 

“It was a normal day,” said Mark Ortiz, who shared the video with FOX21. “When I came back from school, I saw all the vehicles. So, I came in and started checking cameras.”

Ortiz left just minutes before the suspect drove down Joplin Place with the victim hanging onto the car.

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call Detectives Carly Gustin at 719-240-1341, Sgt. Purvis at 719-320-6047 or Capt. Bravo at 719-320-6049. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 719-542-STOP (7867). 

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