The Phoenix Police arrested a man who was caught on cam trying to steal a woman’s wheelchair while she was riding the light rail on November 29, 2019.
26-year-old Austin Shurbutt was seen grabbing the wheelchair of the woman and pushing her out of the chair.
The woman can be seen trying to resist the attempts of the man.
Authorities said the woman did fall from the chair and screamed for help when Austin was trying to run off with her chair.
The Phoenix Police Department shared a video of the incident on Facebook.
Despite his reindeer slippers, this criminal was NOT spreading holiday cheer. He tried to steal a wheelchair right out from under a woman, but hero passengers on the light rail came to her rescue. As the train pulled into the station, the crook grabbed the chair. The video is tough to watch. The woman tries to hold on but eventually gets dumped out of her wheelchair and the guy takes off with it. That’s when the others on the train stepped in to help. People ran out the doors, stopping the guy and getting the wheelchair back. The criminal took off running without the wheelchair. He’s a white man, mid-20s, 200-215 pounds with dark blonde hair and a goatee. Yes, he was wearing reindeer slippers at the time of the crime. It happened the day after Thanksgiving at 3:40 in the afternoon at the light rail stop on 12th street and Jefferson. If you have any information to help track this guy down, call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or silentwitness.org.
Posted by City of Phoenix Police Department on Saturday, 7 December 2019
In the same post, they identified the suspect as 26-year-old Austin Shurbutt.
Shurbutt was arrested by the police and was wearing reindeer slippers at the time of his arrest.
The police said, “Despite his reindeer slippers, this criminal was NOT spreading holiday cheer.”
They added, “He tried to steal a wheelchair right out from under a woman, but hero passengers on the light rail came to her rescue.”
People on the train came to help the woman and stop Shurbutt from stealing the wheelchair.
As help came, Shurbutt ran away from the scene.
Shurbutt was booked into jail for robbery, assault, attempt to kidnap, and vulnerable adult abuse.
Sgt. Bryant Vanegas of the Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the suspect is being held at the Towers Jail in Phoenix.
Shurbutt was presented to the court on the morning of Sunday.
Shurbutt will be back in court on December 16, 2019.
The incident happened on Friday (November 29, 2019) on Arizona’s Valley Metro Rail.