DENVER (KDVR) — A car thief at a dealership ran over a salesman as he fled. Now police are asking for the public’s help in finding the suspect.
The owner of Cherry Creek Automotive, Justin Franks, said he’s been in the business for over 30 years and has never seen something like this happen. He said it all started when the man entered the lot just before closing time, around 6 p.m. Saturday.
The thief told the salesman he didn’t want to test drive any cars but wanted to hear the white Jeep Wrangler’s engine. As the salesperson closed the hood, the thief got behind the wheel and took off.
Surveillance video shows the employee is forced to ride on the hood before he was thrown off and run over.
‘He could have lost his life’
The employee was left lying in the street, while another employee rushed out to help — making it a near-death experience for the man.
“It was very close. Had he fallen any further, he could have lost his life,” Franks said. “He’s been in the ICU and transitioned today, but he had lots of broken bones through his midsection. And mentally he’s doing great and has a long road to recovery. I was able to speak with him that night. I spent a lot of time with him and his wife at the hospital, and he had an amazing attitude.”
Franks said the employee is passionate about his job and always wants to provide a safe place for his customers. They all want answers and justice.
“I don’t think he knows the extent of the damage or if he took my employee’s life,” Franks said of the thief. “He just drove away with no sense of humanity at all. We just want to find this individual and hope that somebody can help the Denver Police Department track him down.”
The thief is pictured below. He was described by the victim as a white or Hispanic man around 6 feet tall with a heavier build. He’s bald and has a tattoo on the back of his neck. That Jeep, also pictured below, is a 2015 Wrangler with oversized tires and a Colorado state flag graphic on the grill.
If you have any information, you are urged to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP. You can remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward up to $2,000.