California woman punches would-be car thief, chases man down street

LOS ANGELES — A California woman fought a would-be thief who tried to steal her beater of a car on Monday, punching the man in the face and then chasing him down the street, investigators said.

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Samantha Raahauge is not sure why a thief would target her car, a 2007 Honda Civic with a crumpled hood, a window that does not roll up and a homemade paint job, KCBS reported.

“Look at my car,” she said. “It’s (expletive) and I work hard. And this (expletive) is out there stealing (expletive) cars, knowing that the person who owns that car probably doesn’t make a lot of money. It just hit me wrong.”

Raahauge was walking to her car from work when she saw a man in it trying to use a shaved key to get it started. She ran over and punched him in the face through the broken window.

“I don’t know if it was God’s fist or Thor’s hammer,” Raahauge said. “But it was a good one.”

The man climbed out of the passenger door and ran. Raahauge gave chase.

“I basically went into full beast mode and said, ‘You ain’t gonna run away from me now,’” she said.

Surveillance video from the barbershop where she works caught the incident on camera.

“His excuse was he was in the wrong car... and my reply was, ‘Yes, yes it is,” Raahauge told KNBC.

Corona police arrived but the suspect was gone. Raahauge had picked up the shaved key after the man dropped it while running after him and turned it over to investigators.

Raahauge, a single mother, said she was not so concerned about her $500 car but a sentimental item inside it.

“I had (my daughter’s) first Gi that she ever had that was custom in the car,” she said. “I think that’s the only thing I would have been really upset about.”

Shortly after the incident, Raahauge said the engine on her car finally went out. She started a crowd funding account to help get a new one.

“Sad night for my (ole) girl. But at least I can say I was behind the wheel on her final drive,” Raahauge said.