Auto shop employee uses forklift to catch suspected thief in midair

The suspect was in the vehicle, so employees used a forklift to give him a lift.

AKRON, Ohio — Auto shop employees in Ohio gave a lift to a suspected thief -- into the air and straight into jail.

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The workers at Arlington Auto Wrecking in Akron on Oct. 17 caught a man attempting to break into one of the vehicles at the business, which had been plagued by several break-ins, WHIO-TV reported.

Workers believed the man, later identified as 26-year-old Alexander Funk, was committing his third break-in.

This time, workers used a forklift to scoop up the vehicle and suspend it in midair until police arrived at the scene, according to the television station.

“He broke into a car at the junkyard, and before he could get out, he’s done it before, they got like the forklift, and they had him like, I’m not kidding, like 20 feet off the ground, so when we got there we went right into custody,” one officer can be heard on a body camera video that recorded the scene.

Employees told police that Funk had allegedly broken into several vehicles before.

“I was putting the car in the shop and he was in the backseat and we called the police on him. We were waiting for you guys to get here and he shoved one of my guys out of the way and took off running,” one worker, relating a previous incident, told an officer in the video.

The creative means of trapping the suspect amused the 911 dispatcher who took the call from employees, WOIO-TV reported.

“So, he’s still in the car about 20 feet in the air in the loader,” the employee told 911, according to the television station.

“Wonderful, that is the greatest thing I’ve ever heard,” the 911 dispatcher said. “We, we will get somebody out to you.”

They did, and Funk was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing and possessing criminal tools, WLWT-TV reported.

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