Man rides on car roof to prevent theft in France | News | DW | 03.01.2017
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Man rides on car roof to prevent theft in France

A youth in France has stopped his father's car from being stolen by riding on its roof while a thief was driving it away. The man held on for several miles and managed to call the police during the stunt.

The youth, Osama Aoukili, was taking a cigarette break in the city of Oyonnax near the Swiss border, authorities said on Tuesday.

He had left the keys inside his father's Renault Clio, according to the French daily "Le Progrès."

Aoukili says he saw the thief entering the car, and his first response was trying to smash through the rear window to get to the perpetrator. While the carjacker started to drive off, Aoukili managed to climb on top of the vehicle and grab hold of the luggage rack.

"I wasn't thinking about it, I just jumped on the roof," he told "Le Progrès," describing the incident. "I don't know what made me do it."

Movie-like chase

Still holding on to the metal bars, Aoukili managed to use his cell phone to alert the police, while the driver headed to the nearby highway. A police car soon managed to track the vehicle down and start a pursuit.

"The police officers tried to point their weapons at suspect, but he did not react," local police chief Christophe Lesznewski told the AFP news agency.

The driver repeatedly swerved and braked suddenly, and at one point reached the speed of 130 kilometers (81 miles) per hour. The police car eventually managed to force him out of the highway, with Aoukili still on the roof.

Aoukili traveled for over five kilometers before the driver slowed down enough for him to jump off, sustaining only slight injuries. Soon thereafter, the thief stopped the car and tried to run off. However, he was caught by the police and arrested.

"I took an enormous risk," Aoukili told "Le Progrès" after the chase. "It was instinct."

dj/rc (dpa, AFP)