A good Samaritan who had his new ute stolen as he rescued a child from a busy road in Melbourne’s west says he wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.
The 39-year-old father, who asked to be known only as Aaron, had just picked up a takeaway curry and was looking forward to a rare night at home alone on Tuesday when he saw the child running down the road.
It was just after 7pm on a busy stretch of Rosamond Road in Maidstone.
The boy, 12 or 13 years old, was sprinting through the middle of streaming peak-hour traffic, cars swerving and slamming on brakes to avoid him.
Aaron didn’t think twice.
He pulled over his new Ford Ranger and ran after the boy, witnessing several close calls but finally catching him after 200 metres.
He was one of three motorists who stopped to help the boy. They kept him busy by throwing balls on a nearby tennis court while they waited for police to arrive.
When Aaron finally remembered his keys, left inside his unlocked vehicle, it was too late.
The good Samaritan’s ute– along with his house keys, wallet and laptop– had been stolen.
The thieves managed to rack up a couple of thousand dollars worth of transactions before Aaron reported his cards stolen.
And his relaxing night without his wife and kids became a sleepless nightmare as he realised the thieves had his house keys and address.
“And they got my curry,” the 39-year-old joked with reporters on Wednesday.
We’re here live with the victim RE: Good Samaritan car theft.
Victoria Police on Tuesday, 16 January 2018
Police arrested a 52-year-old West Melbourne man and a 41-year-old man from Maidstone in an allegedly stolen car about 8.30am on Wednesday.
But the vehicle was not Aaron’s ute, which remained missing at midday.
The black 2017 Ford Ranger, with number plates ARP988, was bought just before Christmas.
Aaron still can’t remember if he left the engine running as he dashed to save the child.
“To be honest, it’s just a car,” he said on Wednesday. “It is a new car and I love it but it is just a car and that’s what you pay insurance for.”
He later joked: “I’m more disappointed about the curry than anything else”.
Aaron said the child “pretty much ignored me” during the ordeal. He seemed agitated but wasn’t crying, he said.
“He was entirely uninjured, he had his heart set on running,” he said.
Aaron said he wouldn’t hesitate to repeat his actions.
“The car doesn’t really mean anything to me, to be honest,” he said. “What was more important for me was that this kid didn’t get hit by a car.”
Aaron declined to comment on the thieves, telling reporters: “I think we all know those kinds of people”.
“I think situations like that, they bring out the absolute best and the absolute worst in people,” he said.
“You’ve got people there trying to do the right thing and putting themselves on the line for other people, including the police officers, and then you’ve got the bad eggs who want to come along and take advantage.”
The arrested men had not been charged and at 12.30pm Wednesday were still helping police with inquiries.
Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.