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Gone in 10 seconds. Truck stolen while owner snow blowing driveway in Adams County

Security video shows how fast car thief works
Poster image - 2023-01-03T184444.461.jpg
Posted at 6:45 PM, Jan 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-03 20:45:32-05

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — Ten seconds. That's how fast security video shows a truck was stolen from a driveway in an Adams County neighborhood while the owner was snow blowing right next to it.

In Michael Paganetti's driveway, usually the most exciting thing going is his snowblower.

"It's a good neighborhood," Paganetti said. "I can't think of the last time that something has happened around here. "

He has a security camera to keep an eye on his dog, Sunny, who loves to soak up the sun in the front yard.

Truck stolen while owner snow blowing driveway

"It's in case another dog is loose in the neighborhood. I can get him in the house right away," Paganetti said.

But on Dec. 31, a stranger was caught on camera walking down the street while Paganetti was snow blowing.

Video shows Paganetti had moved his truck, and plowed the fenceline along the drive. He said he planned to move it back within minutes and left it running. But while he was still in his driveway with his back to the street, the thief gets in the truck and takes off in less than ten seconds.

"It wasn't like I was in the backyard or I was in the house. I was right there," he said. "I can't believe how fast it happened."

Adams County Sheriff's Office said detectives have not found the truck of the thief, but this case highlights a larger issue. In the last two years, car thefts in Adams County went up nearly 20 percent. And while this case was not a typical "puffer" with a car left unattended while warming up, the vehicle was running and unlocked.

"It was surprising how brazen this subject was," said Sgt. Adam Sherman, who said the office is devoting resources to deal with the increase in auto theft. "We have multi-jurisdictional task forces where we try to really focus on auto theft, and even with that at our disposal we're seeing these trends. If the vehicle is important to you, make sure you stay with it, keep it secure, keep it locked up."

Paganetti said he hopes someone will recognize the thief from the video, but until then the handyman lost $25,000 in tools and supplies — an expensive lesson he hopes others learn from his loss.

"I'll never let that happen again," he said. "This is a big deal for someone, especially somebody my age."

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