A thief who tried to steal a motorcycle was stopped in his tracks Wednesday morning when his unlikely getaway vehicle hit rock bottom.
The suspect stole a forklift at around 9:30 a.m. after it was dropped off by a rental company in the parking area of the Westin Hotel at Horton Plaza, according to the San Diego Police Department.
Investigators aren’t yet sure where the motorcycle came from, but it ended up in hoist on the forklift’s forks on its way toward Middletown.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car assistant manager Taylor Hubbard spotted the forklift southbound on Pacific Highway with the motorcycle mounted on the front forks.
“A little out of the ordinary, but then again I work downtown so it's not the most unusual thing we've seen,” Hubbard said.
Witnesses also reported seeing the forklift going against traffic on California Street just before getting stuck on the trolley tracks.
"I couldn't figure out why the forklift was carrying a motorcycle on the trolley tracks,” witness Ty said.
Ty described the forklift thief as a man in his 20s. Another witness said he was wearing all brown clothes and appeared dirty and unkempt.
The thief didn’t get far and eventually had to leave the motorcycle and the forklift behind. That’s because he bottomed out about a mile and a half away from the Westin, just north of the West Palm Trolley stop, where concrete along the trolley tracks becomes a bed of gravel.
The suspect fled, but witnesses said they saw him hanging around sometime after police picked up the forklift.
Investigators aid they were having trouble contacting the registered owner of the motorcycle. Police didn't say if either the forklift or motorcycle were damaged.