Van Drops on Pittsburgh Man While Stealing Wheels

The man was found dead underneath the van the following morning.

byJustin Hughes| UPDATED Dec 15, 2017 12:21 PM
Van Drops on Pittsburgh Man While Stealing Wheels

An attempt to steal wheels off of a Chevy Express passenger van went horribly wrong when the makeshift jack broke, crushing the unidentified would-be thief underneath it. He was found Tuesday morning, WTAE reports.

"According to the investigation, it is believed the male victim was attempting to steal the wheels from a van when the vehicle fell on top of him," the Pittsburgh Public Safety Department said a statement.

This van, along with others owned by the Community Empowerment Association, was kept in a fenced-off parking lot overnight. A hole was cut in the fence so that the thief could get in. A concrete block and some broken wood were found with the van, presumably a crude jack that broke and allowed the van to drop on top of the man.

"At 8 o'clock, we unlocked the gate ... There was a body laying up under the van," said Amargie Davis, director of Community Empowerment Association. "He touched the person, and there was no response. At that time, we called the police right away."

There are many lessons to be learned here.

  • When jacking up a car, use a good sturdy jack appropriate for the weight of the vehicle you are lifting. A piece of wood and a concrete block don't fit the bill.
  • Also, use jack stands to support the vehicle while it's in the air. If the jack does fail, the stand will support the vehicle, saving you from a grizzly fate.
  • This particular van had its original steel wheels it came with from the factory. These aren't worth very much in comparison to alloy wheels, hardly worth stealing, and definitely not worth losing your life for.
  • Aside from passenger transport, honest working people, and #VanLifers, does anyone even drive vans anymore? It would be much more lucrative to steal expensive wheels from a more common vehicle and sell them to someone who currently owns the cheaper version.
  • Don't steal stuff.