TAWAU: Two former convicts were arrested not long after they stole a pick-up truck, thanks to alert villagers in Kampung Hidayat here.
The men, aged 27 and 48, had stolen the four-wheel-drive vehicle along Jalan Megah Jaya at 7.20am today.
The owner, a 30-year-old Petronas coordinator, had apparently left the vehicle engine running while buying food by the roadside.
District police chief Asssitant Commissioner Fadil Marsus said about 40 minutes after a report was lodged, police received information that the stolen pick-up truck has been spotted at Batu 5, Jalan Apas.
"A police patrol unit rushed to the area but the suspects sped off into Kampung Hidayat upon seeing the authorities.
"They drove into a gravel road area which could not be reached by our patrol car.
"However, villagers, who were alerted of the incident managed to corner the pick-up truck and caused the driver to lost control and crashed into a ditch," he said.
The police team arrived shortly after and detained the duo who sustained minor injuries during their face-off with the villagers.
Some of the people who were chasing them were said to have thrown rocks at them when they tried to escape.
Fadil said checks showed the suspects had previous convictions for car thefts and car break-ins.