Video footage shows her stopping the thief by clinging to the car as he drove
There’s a video making the rounds today of a woman throwing herself on the hood of her car to stop thieves from taking it. Reviews from the internet are mixed with many thinking the car wasn’t worth risking her life and others defending her actions.
According to WISN News, Melissa Smith of Milwaukee, Wisconsin was pumping gas this past Tuesday when a car pulled up on the other side of her vehicle. The footage shows a man getting out of a Cadillac and sliding into the driver’s side of Smith’s car. Her reaction is pretty jaw-dropping.
As the thief got behind the wheel and started to drive off, Smith had only seconds to think. She tells WISN, “I had the thought in my head. ‘Do I go after my purse or do I stop my car?’ And the price tag of my car flashed through my head.” Once she realized what was happening, she decided to take action. “(I) didn’t see him til I saw him get into my car. Someone was in my car. And my, ‘Oh, hell this isn’t happening to me today’ moment.”
Smith jumped on the hood to stop him, but the thief had other ideas. He slammed the brakes twice, trying to get her to fall off so he could drive away. While she was sprawled on the hood, Smith made eye contact with him. “He looked at me, and he laughed at me, which really irritated me,” she shares. “He was laughing while I was on my car, and he was trying to throw me off, so zero remorse.”
The video shows that the would-be thief gave up after a few seconds and bailed, escaping in the waiting Cadillac, as Smith chased her still-moving car into oncoming traffic. She managed to get into the driver’s seat and finally put the car in park. She shut the door and slumped to the ground, clearly overwhelmed by what just went down.
Smith admits to WISN that her move to save her car wasn’t a great idea, calling it not the “smartest and safest thing.” She says, “I went with my instinct. Yeah.”
Of course, the internet weighed in with their own thoughts about what she should or shouldn’t have done.
Some felt she should’ve let the car go.
“She is lucky they didn’t run her over or shoot her straight through the windshield. Let them have the car, your life is more important.”
“Let them have it, nothing is worth your life. Unless your kids are in the car.”
“I would think the only time someone should act like that was if your baby or young child is in the car. Otherwise it’s not worth it…that’s what insurance is for.”
While others defended Smith’s instinct to protect what was hers.
“Some people don’t have full coverage for a stolen car to be covered. If she needs that car to survive for her and her kids and someone taking that puts that survival at risk, I’d get on the goddamn hood and stop them from taking my car too. Good for you honey!”
“I’m sure she didn’t even have a second to think, she just reacted. Some of us never know what our response would be to such an immediate threat. In the battle between fight or flight, her fight won. I’m so glad she is ok.”
“Quit judging her! You never know what was in the car that she needed or maybe she had no means to replace the car. Totally awesome video!”
“To the people who are saying she shouldn’t have done what she did or whatever, I’m sure 90% of you would’ve done the same. Your reaction reflexes are far quicker than your reasoning process in situations like that. If she had time to reason, I’m sure she would’ve chosen to NOT jump on the car. But, you know, just sit at the computer and judge and say she was wrong.”
As the victim of a theft from my vehicle last year, happening upon my bashed-in passenger window and missing purse was enough to make me run crying back into the gym in case the perpetrator was hanging around waiting for the chance to nab my car key. I usually see myself as a pretty bad-ass chick, but the fact is, we never know how we’ll react in the moment. Smith acknowledges that she probably shouldn’t have tried to apprehend the thieves, and we can certainly imagine how the situation could’ve gone another way.
Bottom line? We’re glad Smith is alright and we hope the person who tried to steal her car will be found and prosecuted accordingly.