A would-be thief was foiled when a man reached through the window of the van he was trying to steal – while it was moving.
The have-a-go hero has today told how he leapt into action to foil the youth, who said “sorry” as he ran off following the bungled attempt in St Annes.
Ryan Addams, from Lea, was able to get the keys out of the ignition to stop the theft but as he gave chase when the offender ran off, the van continued to roll into a tree – causing £2,000 of damage.
The 32-year-old said: “I had a split second to act – there was no way I was going to let the van go.
“We heard the ignition turn over and I bolted for the driver’s side door. I was able to get turn the keys off and get them out.
“It was an eventful day to say the least.”
Mr Addams, who works for bouncy castle hire firm Blackpool Bounce, was clearing away equipment in the field at St Albans Church, Kilnhouse Lane, on Sunday evening when the incident happened at around 7.45pm.
Anthony Thackray, owner of Blackpool Bounce, said: “The lads were rolling up the castles about 10 feet away from the van.
“I think the thief went in to scope out what was in the van.”
Instead, he found the keys had been left in the ignition and tried to drive off.
Mr Addams’s quick thinking helped stop him getting away with the vehicle but the would-be thief was too quick for him.
He said: “He bolted through the passenger door and the van carried on into the tree, which caused the damage.
“I carried on running and chased him down but he got away.”
Mr Thackray, 31, said the incident was a set-back but will not harm his business, which he has run for the last three years.
He added: “It’s done around £2,000 damage. We could have done without it.”
The would-be thief then ran west along Kilnhouse Lane as he made his escape.
He is described as in his late teens, around 5ft 7ins tall, of slim or average build and with blonde hair cut short at the back and sides.
He wore a black tracksuit top, with stripes on the sleeves, and dark grey tracksuit bottoms.
A Lancashire Police spokesman confirmed the force is investigating, adding: “If anybody has any information about this incident, please call police on 101.”