Kyle Schneider (Photo contributed)

Car-jacking attempts in Sunnybrae shock residents, stall traffic

Police aircraft, police cars respond to man’s attempts to get in vehicles in South Shuswap

A routine trip to his Sunnybrae mailbox Thursday turned into an incident Kyle Schneider will never forget.

It included an attempted car jacking of his own car along with an estimated 10 to 15 other vehicles on scenic Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road.

Schneider had stopped at the community mailbox just before 1 p.m. on Aug. 29 when a white Volkswagen drove by towards the Trans-Canada Highway with the hood up, about normal speed. The male driver stopped, got out and started running towards him.

“I asked if he was all right – the hood was bashed in a bit, I thought maybe he’d been in an accident.”

Schneider also noticed that, strangely, the hood was propped up by the usual metal rod.

The man asked if the other car was Schneider’s, to which he replied ‘yes.’ At that point the man ran by him and jumped into it.

Shocked, Schneider, who was behind the car, ran around to the open driver’s window and tried reaching in to open the door.

“He started slapping at my face and punching me.”

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Schneider retaliated, punching him once in the face and a couple of times in the chest.

“It was insane, it was crazy,” says Schneider who moved out of the big city to escape such situations.

Schneider managed to pick him up and throw him to the ground.

The man responded: “Ok, I give, I give, you can have your piece of s—- car.”

But that was only the beginning.

The man then ran towards another car heading west to the highway and tried to get in.

Schneider screamed at the driver: “Drive, drive, he’s trying to steal your car” and they took off.

He then ran up to a house and although Schneider wasn’t able to see him, he says he heard kicking.

People later told him the man tried to get into a few houses.

Schneider was calling 911 when the man came down to the road and tried to hop through the driver’s window of a moving vehicle. Again Schneider screamed at the driver to keep going.

Around this time a man in a van stopped traffic to keep other vehicles out of harm’s way.

Then the man started running east down Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road away from the highway.

“He proceeded to try to break into numerous cars while they were moving. I kept screaming, ‘Drive, drive, drive, he’s trying to steal your car – don’t stop.’”

Schneider says the man didn’t appear enraged; after he began running he was skipping and doing little twirls, picking up gravel and tossing it at car windows as he ran.

However, he did try to get into a few more cars, says Schneider, estimating there were between 10 and 15 altogether.

Schneider said a few people had armed themselves with baseball bats and two-by-fours.

“I said, ‘Hold on, police are coming.’”

The man then went to Sunnybrae park where a couple of women and their young children were in the lake.

Schneider says the man took a large beach umbrella and threw it at the families, but the wind caught it and it blew back in his face.

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Then he continued running and went down Bastion Road, the last time Schneider saw him. However a police plane was circling overhead for about 20 minutes and several police cars were on scene. He was told the man was arrested.

Looking back at the incident, Schneider says he’s fine and he hopes the man is all right.

“I don’t think he meant to hurt me; he just looked like he wasn’t really all there.”

And Schneider admits what, in the moment, was his strongest motivation for getting the man out of his car.

“I saw all my groceries in the back and I hate grocery shopping. I thought, ‘There’s no way I’m going to Salmon Arm to get all that s—- again.”

@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

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On Thursday, Aug. 29, after trying to get into the driver’s seat of several vehicles on Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road, a man is alleged to have thrown a large beach umbrella at two moms and their young children in the lake. However, wind grabbed it and it flew back into the man’s face. (File photo)

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