Homeowner robbed then run over after chasing down thieves

ELKHART, Ind. – A homeowner caught a group of thieves red handed after they looted his garage, chased them down in his car after they took off and was run over when he confronted them on County Road 16 late Sunday night.

Rob Froelich suffered cuts and bruises to his left leg as a result of a wild night trying to catch three men who had stolen items from his garage.  He has security cameras installed around his home in a neighborhood off of County Road 16.  Two young men covering their faces can be seen entering his garage just after 10:30 p.m. and then leaving shortly before Froelich happened to come outside.

“Noticed my dome light was on in my vehicle, looked down the road there was a vehicle running,” Froelich described.  “Couple guys checking cars, you could see, popping locks running back out to the vehicle."

He said it appeared three men, one waiting in a car, were trying to break into other cars and garages on the street.  They spotted Froelich and took off in a silver Pontiac, he jumped into his own car and chased after them along County Road 16.

“They almost caused an accident in a few spots…it was a pretty scary ride,” Froelich explained.  “They did end up losing control and skidded to a stop."

The crook’s car ended up coming to a stop near the intersection of Vistula Road and County Road 16.  Froelich stopped next to them, got out of his car and walked up to their car hoping to get a good look at them.

"By the time I had said even two words they already had it in reverse,” he described.  “My left foot was out so they came around with the wheel turned and caught my foot and then the fender got the rest of my leg."

The thieves sped off leaving Froelich lying on the road.  He estimated he was there for about 10-minutes before a passing driver spotted him and called 911.  Fortunately, he only suffered cuts and bruises.

"It could've been a lot worse, I was actually expecting it to when I was laying there not knowing what had happened initially,” he explained.  “I lucked out."

Oddly, when Froelich returned home he found that the thieves had only taken two portable tanks full of gas worth about $50 and a bag of old cans.

The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the case.

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