Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Elyria – A car thief in need of gas money asked the wrong person for a dollar Tuesday night at a local gas station. The man he asked, Fred Songer of Elyria, is a friend of the person who owns the car and knew it was stolen. What are the chances?

Songer said that he and his wife were at the Speedway gas station on Griswold Road Tuesday night when he saw the car in the parking lot. “I knew right away that it was my buddy’s car and I knew that it had been reported stolen. I was already on my cell phone dialing the Police when the guy walked over to me and asked for a dollar for gas.”

Songer told the man that he didn’t have a dollar to give him and the man walked back to the stolen car and jumped in the driver’s seat. “I contacted the Police and told them what was going on and that the guy was about to pull out of the parking lot.” Songer jumped into his car and fell in behind the stolen car while giving information to the Police Dispatcher who was relaying it over the radio to Officers.

As the two car made their way across the 49th Street Bridge Songer said he could see Police cars ahead waiting for them. “I was shocked, yet real happy, that they were right there already. Then as we made it to the traffic light at the other end of the bridge I saw a Deputy Sheriff coming up behind us so I moved and got out of the way to let them do their job.”

Once the man in the stolen car saw all the Police he took off down Griswold Road heading to West River. Police attempted to stop the man but he began driving at a high rate of speed. Elyria Police backed off due to the dangers that the man was creating on the roadway and just continued without lights and sirens according to Songer.

When the man reached the intersection of West River and Route 254 he ran a red light and smashed into a car that was attempting to make a left turn onto West River.

The man ran from the now smashed up car and fled on foot through the neighborhood.

Elyria Police, with the assistance from Lorain County Sheriff’s Deputies and State Troopers, began tracking the man through back yards. After a short foot chase they found the man several blocks away and took him into custody.

The man was returned to the scene and was positively identified by Songer as the man who was driving the car.

Sheffield Township Firefighters treated and transported the driver of the car that was struck. She was taken to Elyria Memorial with minor injuries.
Songer said that his friend who owned the car arrived at the scene shortly after the crash. “He was clearly upset that his car was damaged but was grateful that it was found. He thanked me profusely for being alert and spotting his car at the gas station. I just told him that it was the least that I could do, he’s a friend and how could I in good conscious not do something in that situation. I told him though that the people he really needed to thank were the Police who responded so quickly and worked so hard in searching for the guy – I just played a small role compared to the Police but was happy to help.”



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