Two would-be car thieves in Haltom City picked the wrong car Tuesday morning.
It was about 5:15 a.m., still dark with temperatures in the low 20s, when the two men in a black Ford Mustang showed interest in a running car outside a residence in the northwest part of the city.
Much to their misfortune, Haltom City Detective Tony Miller was sitting in the car.
“I hadn’t been in the car but a minute, and I saw this car drive by, turn around and park right alongside me on the street,” Miller said.
“I thought this wasn’t going to turn out good, so I pulled out my gun and waited.”
“The passenger got out, came up to the door and wiped frost off my window,” he said. “He may not have been able to see inside, so he opened my front door.
“When he looked inside, I said, ‘Police! Show me your hands.’ ”
The man jumped back and ran.
Miller chased him on foot for a short distance, but the detective realized he didn’t have his radio and returned to his car.
The Mustang driver sped away.
Miller drove around looking for the men.
“I guess the second suspect wasn’t familiar with the neighborhood because he drives right past me,” Miller said. “That’s when I started following him and got his license number.”
Miller followed the Mustang until Haltom City patrol cars joined the pursuit.
The Mustang crashed into a building at Sylvania Avenue and Kimbo Road in Fort Worth, Haltom City police said. The driver was arrested and taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
He faces charges of attempted theft and evading arrest.
The man who ran off had not been arrested Tuesday evening.
“Warm-up” thefts usually rise during winter months, police say, advising people not to leave running vehicles unattended. It’s against state law to leave an unattended vehicle running while it’s parked on a public street.