WHEN Ipswich footballer and apprentice tradesman Geoffery Broome spotted a thief stealing his ute, he wasn't about to stand back and watch his livelihood speed off into the night.
The up-and-coming rugby league second rower had just finished a training session with the Ipswich Jets when he dropped into the Riverlink shopping centre.
Mr Broome, who turns 19 this year, was walking back down into the underground car park when he saw a sinister-looking man hanging around his Holden ute on Thursday night.
"My mate and I came down the escalator and turned the corner, and I saw this bloke standing next to my car and sort of looking around to see who was watching," he said.
The thief had already broken the lock on Mr Broome's car and removed the ignition cover.
After being disturbed he started the vehicle with a screwdriver and sped off over a concrete abutment.
It was at this point that Mr Broome showed a quick-thinking mind and a clean set of heels.
In a scene reminiscent of a Hollywood movie, he gave chase and managed to jump into the tub of the ute before it gathered speed.
While lying flat in the tub he dialled Triple-0.
Meanwhile the thief - oblivious to the fact the owner was less than a metre behind him - sped off through the car park towards Downs St.
"Then he stalled it at the lights near the RSL," Mr Broome said.
"I jumped out and grabbed hold of him. I was absolutely fuming.
"I couldn't believe someone was trying to steal my ute with all my tools in it."
Even more bizarre was the fact a police crew drove by and initially assumed Mr Broome was trying to steal the car from the offender.
After a brief discussion, the police realised they had the wrong man and arrested the driver instead. Police later charged a suspect with unlawful use of a motor vehicle, disqualified driving and drink driving.