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Kitchener man recounts car theft while cleaning out vehicle

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Waterloo regional police are investigating a car theft they say happened while the owner was vacuuming out their vehicle.

At around 3:40 p.m. Friday, police received a report of a stolen vehicle from a parking lot at 2420 Homer Watson Boulevard.

Olinto Rojas, 67, told CTV News he left his car running while cleaning it out just outside of a gas station, when a man came up, assaulted him, hopped in the car and drove off.

His son Juan Rojas, who interpreted for his father, said he was shocked by what happened.

"Some guy just ran inside the car so my dad started saying ‘hey this is my car this is my car’ and the guy started saying ‘no this is my car this is my car’ so instantly my dad was noticing this guy wants to take the car," said Juan. "My dad says a lot of people saw and they were the ones who called police.

"I was glad that he was alive, I was glad that he was okay."

Const. Andre Johnson with the Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) said they've been seeing an increase in auto thefts throughout the region.

"That driver weaved through heavy traffic and ran a red light and was last seen travelling on Homer Watson Boulevard towards the 401. We are continuing to investigate, “said Const. Johnson.

He adds that the latest have been a rash of stolen Dodge Rams in Guelph, Cambridge and Brantford.

"We are seeing an uptick in crime throughout the region and this would count towards that," said Const. Johnson. "It was in broad daylight in a very busy area and again the owner was right there so it is quite concerning just how rapidly and how quickly these events could unfold."

Juan says the suspect came out swinging at his father and is happy he wasn't seriously hurt.

"He was scared, and to this moment he's still shocked, he's still scared, and he didn't sleep well last night at all," said Juan. "I'm used to it being more in the GTA, you still hear more [about it] in the GTA but now that stuff is coming here, robberies, armed robberies, so it's frightening because that's not what Kitchener used to be like."

Juan said it will now be a waiting game if police will be able to locate the vehicle.

"Even if he got away, even if he got his car back that's all he really wants to be able to go to work with his car," said Juan.

The investigation remains ongoing. Police are asking anyone with information or video footage to contact them.

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