CENTREVILLE, Va. - A Fairfax County man chased down a thief who he spotted stealing from his car early Friday following a spate of thefts in his neighborhood. The incident was captured by Scott Wahl's home surveillance cameras.
"I heard something outside," Wahl said. "So I checked my security cameras and I noticed the door of my truck was open."
Surveillance video shows three people walking in front of Wahl’s home and parting ways. One man checks the door to Wahl’s wife's car and then opens the door to Wahl's unlocked truck.
Video shows Wahl running out of his house and after the suspect, eventually catching up with him and taking back the only thing stolen from the truck, a $6 fishing knife. Wahl said he held on to the suspect, but then the other two people, a man and woman, returned. Wahl said he later learned the woman is married to the man who stole from him.
"I’ve got the knife in my hand right here as they’re trying to move in on me," Wahl says as he showed FOX 5 the footage. "And then when the wife walks up, she’s got a hammer."
Wahl got some help from his neighbor who heard the altercation.
"He comes running down, he has a handgun with him and he’s on the phone with the police," Wahl said.
Luckily, no one was hurt. Wahl said he and his neighbor kept eyes on the suspect until Fairfax County Police arrived.
"There's going to be a lot of people who say this wasn't smart to do," he said. "I think when you’re in a situation like that, you probably have to gauge everything as it unfolds."
He says he learned from police the suspects are known drug users.
"They had been looking for stuff to steal to feed their habit is the impression I got," he said.
He says his neighborhood has had a lot of thefts from cars recently, and hopes this will be the end of that.
"Nobody likes to know that people in their neighborhood are having theft issues or their cars gone into and things stolen out of them," he said. "My hope is that now these guys are caught, and those were the only people that were doing this, and we don't have a problem like that again."
FOX 5 is working to learn more from police about the suspects.