A San Mateo man could be kicking himself today for leaving his car running while he ran into the Belmont Thursday evening. Instead, he is credited with helping police apprend another man who tried to steal the car.
According to spokesperson Lt. Pat Halleran, at approximately 6:30 p.m.Thursday, a San Mateo man stopped at the 7-Eleven store in the 400 block of El Camino in Belmont.
The man parked his car in front of the store and left it running while he went inside. As the man was leaving the store, he saw another man get in his car and start to back out of the parking space. The victim confronted the suspect and the two struggled.
Police say that during the confrontation the victim was able to remove the suspect from the car. The suspect fled on foot, and was chased by the victim and a witness. The victim and witness caught up to the suspect a few blocks away just as Belmont police units arrived. The suspect was then taken into custody by police.
The suspect was identified by police as 26-year-old Alejandro Valencia, of Newark. Valencia was found to be under the influence of an illegal drug, and in possession of suspected methamphetamine.
Both Valencia and the victim were treated at the scene by paramedics for non-life threatening injuries sustained during the incident.
Valencia was transported to an area hospital for further treatment, and was then booked into the San Mateo County Jail on charges of auto theft, possession of methamphetamine and for being under the influence of a controlled substance.
The victim did not need further medical aid and was not transported to the hospital.