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Man Allegedly Steals Police Car To Buy Beer

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A California man made a citizen's arrest of a 22-year-old who allegedly stole a police car to take a drive to the local liquor store on Jan. 6.

Zachary Samaha was taken into custody and charged by police in Sacramento with theft and driving under the influence, according to The Sacramento Bee.

Chris Marzan, who used to work in security, says he first spotted the police car as it swerved erratically with its lights off and struck a lamp post.

He says he saw Samaha, who was wearing gray sweat pants and a dark shirt, get out of the car. Marzan quickly realized the police vehicle was not being driven by an officer.

Marzan said he performed a U-turn and began following the vehicle. He also called 911.

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"I'm on the phone with dispatch, I said, 'Look, you've got a guy who just stole a patrol car,'" said Marzan.

Samaha pulled up at the A-1 liquor store and got out. Marzan said he saw Samaha go into the store, buy a bottle of beer and take a swig from it as he left the store.

"I was concerned that he was going to come out with one of the weapons in the vehicle," said Marzan.

Marzan stepped in at this point, ordering Samaha to the ground.

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"I gave him verbal commands," added Marzan. "He got down and he complied from there and that's when I cuffed him and brought him out."

"He was like, 'Oh, OK, you got me,' and he was just laughing about the whole thing. So, it was like a big joke to him," Marzan added, according to KCRA.

Marzan also got a dash-cam video recording of the incident.

"I'm relieved that no one was hurt and I'm relieved that he's off the streets and I hope that he gets the help he needs," stated Marzan, according to The Sacramento Bee. "I made the decision to go in because I didn't want him to, one, get back in the patrol car or, two, go out the back door of the store."

But Marzan cautioned against other people following his example.

"I don't suggest anyone doing anything like this because if you don't have the proper training or understanding of safety, you can get hurt," he said.

Sacramento police have opened an investigation of their policies and procedures to try to prevent a similar incident in the future. Reports suggest Samaha took the car after an officer got out of the car to respond to a call for service.

Sources: The Sacramento Bee, KCRA via WIS-TV / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: Raphael Goetter/Flickr, Marvin Kuo/Flickr

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