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Video: Cyclist finds car stolen from his wife in traffic – driver flees

Witnesses chased after woman at wheel, who now faces charge of grand theft auto, says LAPD

A cyclist in California got a big surprise as he rode through traffic – among the vehicles he passed was a black SUV that had been stolen from his wife. The woman at the wheel fled the scene, but was caught by witnesses.

The incident happened on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice on Saturday morning, reports ABC7.

It was caught on mobile phone by Matthew Santoro, who happens to have more than 580,000 followers on Twitter and 6 million subscribers on YouTube, and who was in a passing vehicle.

His footage shows the cyclist on the phone, presumably to the police, with his bike propped against the front of the car to prevent the driver from making off in the vehicle – not an easy task, given the traffic.

Instead, while he was mid-call, she started to walk off at a very brisk pace but was chased down by witnesses.

The woman, 39-year-old Erica Puig, now faces charges of grand theft auto, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, who confirmed that the vehicle had been stolen from Santa Monica.

Afterwards, Santoro said on Twitter: "We captured it and the LAPD retweeted it, and they DM'd me and said thank you for basically capturing somebody."

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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