Longview man stops car prowler from stealing wife's SUV from own - KPTV - FOX 12

Longview man stops car prowler from stealing wife's SUV from own driveway

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A Longview man held a suspected car prowler for police after he caught the accused thief trying to steal a car out of his own driveway.

Police arrested Jonathan Smith early Sunday at a home on East Lynnwood Drive belonging to Mike Leeper and his wife.

Leeper told FOX 12 the couple woke up Sunday morning to their front door wide open and their three cars ransacked.

As his wife called police Leeper went to talk with his neighbors and learned it was not just his home but that the neighbor’s cars were ransacked, too.

Leeper said he was talking with his neighbors when he saw Smith walk up his driveway and get into his wife’s brand new 2016 GMC Acadia.

“As he was getting in my car, I asked him if he needed any help,” Leeper recalled. “He said, ‘No I’m getting in my car and I’m just leaving,’ and I asked him ‘Is this your car?’ he said yeah and he shut the door on me.”

That sparked a fight between Leeper and Smith, as the homeowner tried to grab the vehicle’s keys back and turn the ignition off.

Smith didn’t give up, though, and the two continued to struggle inside the car as Leeper’s wife was on the phone with police until he finally got the upper hand.

“I grabbed his feet off the brake and tried to drag him out of the car,” Leeper said. “He scrambled back into the car and tried to start and move again, and that’s when I was able to get inside the car and get on top of him and hold him until the police got there.”

Officers say Smith had a backpack full of things linking him to a total of eight car prowls in that same neighborhood.

He is now in jail facing several charges and is being held without bail.

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