A Port Lincoln man was on the toilet at McDonald’s on Monday when someone reached under the door, grabbed his car keys and stole his vehicle.
Keith Barker’s face was injured in the scuffle with the man, who police believe may be responsible for a recent crime spree across the state.
Mr Barker left his house about 9.30am to go shopping and noticed a number of roads were blocked by police but did not think much of it at the time.
He stopped at McDonald’s to go to the toilet and said he was sitting on the toilet with his wallet and keys on the ground when he heard another man enter the room.
He said he heard the hand dryer being used, then a hand reached under the door and grabbed his keys and wallet.
Mr Barker said he instinctively grabbed the man’s hand, which was clutching his keys and wallet, and tried to retrieve them.
“I was dead lucky to get a hold of it (his hand),” Mr Barker said.
“It was just a fluke...he was that quick.”
Mr Barker said he was pulled down to the ground in the struggle and had his face smashed into the lock and the door “two or three times” while he was holding the man’s hand.
He said he managed to wrestle the wallet out of the man’s hand before the man ran away with his keys.
“I couldn’t get enough grip,” Mr Barker said.
“I didn’t expect to get my car pinched by having a crap on the toilet.”
He said he watched the man drive off with his green Mercedes station wagon while he was asking McDonald’s staff to call police.
“If I could’ve gotten to him, even got a grip around his neck, I wouldn’t let go,” Mr Barker said.
“I’d give him a good shake up, I can tell you that.”
Mr Barker was taken to hospital before being released later that day.
The car was recovered near Port Lincoln just before 1.40pm on Monday.
He said his keys could have been dumped in or near Port Lincoln.
“If anyone finds them out between Lincoln and (North) Shields, drop them at the (Port Lincoln) police station.”
“I’m really hoping when I get my car back that I am lucky enough it hasn’t been damaged too much.”