BELMONT -- A man who left his parked car's engine running in front of a 7-Eleven store nearly lost the car Thursday night when police say a Newark man tried to drive off with it.

The suspect, 26-year-old Alejandro Valencia, was backing the stolen car out of a parking space on El Camino Real just after 6:30 p.m. when the car owner walked out of the store, confronted Valencia and began fighting with him before the suspect ran away, according to Belmont police.

A passerby and the car owner chased the suspect for several blocks before Belmont police arrested him.

Police believe Valencia was under the influence of drugs. He was booked into the San Mateo County Jail on charges of auto theft, methamphetamine possession and for being under the influence of an illegal drug.




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