Salem woman jumps in minivan, chases suspects who stole son's ca - KPTV - FOX 12

Salem woman jumps in minivan, chases suspects who stole son's car

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Joanna Alfaro-Mendoza said after her home security camera caught someone trying to steal her son’s car from outside her house Tuesday night, she chased the suspect down while in her pajamas. (courtesy Joanna Alfaro-Mendoza) Joanna Alfaro-Mendoza said after her home security camera caught someone trying to steal her son’s car from outside her house Tuesday night, she chased the suspect down while in her pajamas. (courtesy Joanna Alfaro-Mendoza)
Salem mother Joanna Alfaro-Mendoza said her son was devastated when he heard about the damage to his car and his mother following the theft attempt. (KPTV) Salem mother Joanna Alfaro-Mendoza said her son was devastated when he heard about the damage to his car and his mother following the theft attempt. (KPTV)
SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

Some would-be car thieves in Salem got way more than they bargained for when the car owner's mother chased them down in her pajamas.

While officers may file her reaction under “what not to do,” Joanna Alfaro-Mendoza told FOX 12 she hopes the suspects will think twice before they try to steal someone else's car.

Before Alfaro-Mendoza's son went out of town, he asked his mom to keep a close eye on his Honda Civic. Around 11 p.m. Tuesday, though, her home surveillance cameras captured a car thief in action.

“I got up, I ran to the front door, I opened the door and said, ‘They're stealing his car!’” she recalled.

Wearing only a nightgown, Alfaro-Mendoza said she jumped in her minivan and started chasing the thief.

She said he stopped about a mile away next to another car full of people and that a woman got out of that car and into the driver's seat of her son's car.

Alfaro-Mendoza said she then started yelling, dialing 911 and trying to block the woman from taking off.

"So, what she did was she just rammed the car into the back of my vehicle, my van, and just jumped out and ran,” she told FOX 12.

Alfaro-Mendoza said she then confronted the rest of the group.

"I kind of held onto the door (and said), ‘No, you're not leaving! The cops are coming!’ That's when I told myself, ‘Oh my God, I'm putting my life at risk, I've got to stop!" she said. "’I've got to let go.  I've got to put my feet down,’ and that's when they ran over my feet."

She said the suspects then drove off and deputies eventually showed up to take her statement. Alfaro-Mendoza drove her son's car back home with serious front end damage, and now she wants the thieves caught.

"Somebody worked hard for this,” she said. “This is the first car I helped him buy, and he was devastated when I called him and told him."

Alfaro-Mendoza said the suspects were driving a dark blue, 4-door sedan with the numbers 735 on the license plate.

Anyone with information that could help with this investigation is asked to call the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

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