Father recovers stolen vehicle with his kids inside using suspect’s abandoned stolen vehicle

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A father chased down a stolen car that had his children inside using the suspect’s car on Wednesday night, according to the Minneapolis Police Department.

Deanah Gotchie of Burnsville said she was dropping off some items at a friend’s house on the 800 block of Russell Avenue North around 8:30 p.m. last night. Her husband, Derek, stepped out of the vehicle for a moment to close the back door.

Within seconds, a suspect had hopped into the family’s vehicle and drove off with their four young children still inside.

“I turn around, and I’m like, ‘What?'” Deanah Gotchie recalled. “I look out the door, and I see our tail lights leaving.”

Derek Gotchie saw the suspect’s abandoned van — which police say was stolen — was still running. He decided to jump in and chase the suspect.

“I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “I’m jumping in there, I’m going after my kids.”

The chase didn’t last long. Derek Gotchie caught up with the suspect a few blocks away near Penn and Plymouth avenues. He explained that the suspect pulled over to let a car by, and as soon as he turned back into the road, the father took his opportunity.

“I just hit the back of my truck and pushed him into this alleyway to pin him against this fence,” Derek Gotchie said.

It worked. After rear-ending the vehicle at a slow speed, the truck stopped, and the suspect got out and ran, leaving the kids behind. While no one was hurt, the rear bumper of the family’s truck was damaged.

This image provided by the Gotchie family shows the damage to their GMC Yukon’s rear bumper after Derek Gotchie rammed into the SUV while chasing a car thief. (Courtesy photo)

The Gotchies’ young son told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he asked the suspect to slow down during the pursuit.

Eventually, Deanah Gotchie got to the scene, and police told her what happened.

“I asked [the officer], ‘Did you find them?’ He was like, ‘Your husband did.’ I’m like, ‘What are you talking about my husband did?'” Deanah Gotchie said. “I got there, and I hear the story, I’m not surprised at all, I’m not surprised at all. I’m like, ‘Yup, that sounds like my husband.'”

The Minneapolis Police Department said it is still investigating the incident. No arrests have been made.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family to cover the costs of repairing their vehicle.