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Passerby steps in to stop thief

By Sandra Yi | Posted - Mar 26th, 2013 @ 5:25pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — A man on his way home from work Tuesday ended the day as a hero when he tackled a thief on the run.

It all started when a man snatched a cell phone right out of a West High student Elizabeth Amha's hands as she walked up 300 West in downtown Salt Lake City.

Amha said, "When he was passing me, he grabbed my phone and started running off to the street."

At that point she acted on instinct.

"I just dropped my bag and everything and started chasing after him," she said.

She chased the man to a parking lot at the end of the street. She even followed him into an elevator. She said she wasn't scared.

"I tried to talk to him one-on-one. He wouldn't listen to me," she said. "I told him I could help him out and stuff."

Knowlton said it was just the right thing to do adding, "I wouldn't want anybody to steal my phone."

When the elevator doors opened, the man ran again. So did Amha.

"I was yelling and screaming for the longest time and nobody came," she said.

That's when Christopher Knowlton saw what was happening. He was walking to his car after work. He said he thought it was just a boyfriend and girlfriend arguing, but when he saw Amha crying, he couldn't ignore it.

From his car, Knowlton followed the thief as he ran down 300 West.

"Hurried and cut him off, got out of the car and tackled him in the road, and just held him there," Knowlton said.

He said it was just the right thing to do, adding, "I wouldn't want anybody to steal my phone."

Amha thanked Knowlton with a big hug.

The 22-year-old suspect said he had his 3-year-old son in his car, which was parked nearby; but police say the man's girlfriend drove away in that car before they got there so they don't know if there really was a child in there.


Sandra Yi

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