Wheelchair thief in reindeer slippers foiled by Arizona train passengers, video shows




  • In US
  • 2019-12-08 16:48:27Z
  • By Miami Herald
 

Riding a Phoenix, Arizona, light-rail train the day after Thanksgiving, a 26-year-old man abruptly leaps to his feet and wrestles a woman for her wheelchair, a video shows.

The man unlocks the brakes on the wheelchair, then wheels the struggling woman toward the open train door as she grabs onto nearby railings, the video posted by Phoenix police shows.

He finally upends the wheelchair, dumping her to the floor, and bolts off the train with it. But the video shows other passengers crowd out after him into the station, where they shove him into a wall and retrieve the stolen wheelchair.

Foiled, the wheelchair thief dashes away from the other passengers toward a station security camera, the video shows.

"Despite his reindeer slippers, this criminal was NOT spreading holiday cheer," police wrote on Facebook. "Yes, he was wearing reindeer slippers at the time of the crime."

On Saturday, police reported arresting Austin Shurbutt on suspicion of robbery, attempt to kidnap, assault and vulnerable adult abuse in an update on Facebook.

"He was still wearing the reindeer slippers when he was arrested," police wrote.

Police credited the "hero passengers" who came to the woman's aid in the incident, which took place at a station near 12th and East Jefferson streets, the original Facebook post says.

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