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'Gone in 60 seconds': Wetaskiwin truck thief caught in the act


One minute.

That’s all the time it took for a thief to steal with Ken Ross’s 2000 Ford F-250 truck from his back driveway in Wetaskiwin.

Ross is sharing security video of the July 29 incident as a warning to others about opportunistic crime and the dangers of trying to defend your own property without police assistance.

‘He was in and gone’

“Sixty seconds. He was in and gone,” Ross said in an interview with CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM. “It’s absolutely crazy how fast these guys can steal these vehicles.

“I’m still trying to wrap my mind around that … my eyes have been opened, that’s for sure.”

 

Surveillance footage of the theft shows a truck pulling up in the back alley Saturday afternoon. A man walks out and pulls out some tools from the bed.

Within seconds, he pops open the door to Ross’s truck, and hops in the driver’s seat.

Ross’s daughter-in-law, Diamond Newman, attempted to stop the crime in progress, and narrowly missed being hit by the vehicle as it sped away.

‘It was just adrenaline’

Newman was out having a cigarette on the patio when she heard some clambering near the garage.

She went out back to investigate and found a complete stranger in the truck, about to turn the keys in the ignition.

Newman chased after the moving vehicle, banging wildly on the driver’s side door as it swerved out the back alley.

The entire incident lasted exactly 58 seconds.

“I automatically went and chased after him. I wasn’t thinking anything, I was just trying to get the truck back, I guess it was just adrenaline,” Newman said Thursday. “It was dangerous in hindsight.

“I wouldn’t suggest anyone else try that. A truck or anything else isn’t worth risking your life.” 

‘Nothing is really safe’

Both know how dangerous that decision was firsthand. Ross’s uncle is in critical condition at the University of Alberta hospital after attempting to stop his vehicle from being stolen in a separate incident in a Wetaskiwin parking lot last month.

Ross declined to provide much detail in the case, but said his uncle was thrown from the moving vehicle and run over. A 17-year-old is facing charges in the case, he said.

If someone tries to steal your property, call the police, Ross urged.

“It is dangerous. I would never recommend engaging a truck thief. You don’t know what mental state he’s in,” he said. 

“But she made that decision to fight … and put the run on him.”

Ross’s truck was recovered by Edmonton police on Wednesday. The dash is destroyed, the navigation system gone, and the exterior is dented from when the thieves rammed it into a police car.

The first truck seen in the surveillance video was also stolen, Ross said. It was recovered by police in Sylvan Lake.

The incident has left Ross feeling rattled. 

“I’ve learned that nothing is really safe,” Ross said. “You can lock your doors, lock it up tight, keep your keys in your pocket, and that doesn’t matter to them. They’re going to take it anyhow.

“And 58 seconds is all it takes.” 



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