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Good Samaritan chases down man with stolen vehicle

A Good Samaritan chased down a driver suspected of stealing a Sacramento police patrol car over the weekend.

Posted: Jan 8, 2018 12:19 PM

A Good Samaritan chased down a driver suspected of stealing a Sacramento police patrol car over the weekend.

Chris Marzan says it's a night he will never forget after seeing a car driving out of control near Stockton Boulevard in south Sacramento.

"I noticed it was a Sacramento police vehicle. As I passed, he makes a U-turn so in my mind I’m like great I am going to get pulled over,” Marzan said.

Marzan, a former security guard, didn't get pulled over.

Instead, he witnessed the patrol car crash.

"Looking into my rearview mirror, I noticed that the vehicle continued swerving side to side and eventually crashed into a side parking lot,” Marzan said.

That’s when he realized the person driving the patrol car was not in uniform.

"I then saw an individual -- a male -- get out of the vehicle wearing gray sweats, black shirt. And I’m like he is definitely not an officer. He gets back into the patrol car, so as a double back," Marzan said. 

Marzan says he dialed 911 and proceeded to follow the driver and record his every move using his new dash cam.

"I said this guy needs to be stopped, my concern was there was a bunch of pedestrians around and this guy was driving reckless so I proceeded to follow him,” Marzan said.

The suspect decided to stop at one market.

He went in for a beer and that's when Marzan went in and made a citizen's arrest.

"I used caution. I was very careful because I didn't know if this guy was going to come out with a weapon,” Marzan said.

Marzan placed the 22-year-old in handcuffs.

"I was like 'get down on the ground'" Marzan said.

Zachary Samaha complied with orders but the Good Samaritan says he was clearly intoxicated.

"He was like, 'oh okay, you got me,' and he was just laughing about the whole thing. So it was like a big joke to him,” Marzan said.

Sacramento police say they are investigating the incident and hope to prevent another patrol car from being stolen again.

"I don't know why anyone would commit such a crime. We are looking into it right now and we're looking at our policies and procedures if there are any lessons learned from this event," said Vance Chandler, a sergeant from Sacramento police.

Marzan says he knows he put his life at risk, but has no regrets.

"Since last night a lot of people have talked to me about it. I don't recommend anyone doing anything that I did. I stand by my decision because I can't live with myself if something happened to someone,” Marzan said.

Officers say they appreciate his help.

"We do need the help from the community. There are our eyes and ears out there so we are appreciative that we got the call and we are very fortunate that nobody was hurt,” Chandler said.

Police say the suspect got hold of the patrol car when an officer stepped out to respond to a call for service.

Now he's facing a DUI charge and a felony for the theft.

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Data is updated nightly.

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Mild temperatures, breezy south winds, and improved air quality are ahead for your Wednesday. Coastal showers will be possible on Thursday, and then hot temperatures and high fire danger return for your weekend.
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