Everything seemed to be going as planned until the thief tried to make his getaway.
That's when his car wouldn't start. Then, as he checked under the hood, a witness snatched the garbage bag the thief had stuffed with cigarette cartons and lottery tickets.
Angelo Fuentes told police he was at the Sunoco station at 1401 W Waters Ave. about 9:30 a.m. when a man drove up in a blue, four-door, 1980s Buick.
Fuentes watched as the man went into the gas station and ordered the clerk into the bathroom, police said. When the thief's car wouldn't start, Fuentes grabbed the bag and returned the cigarettes and tickets to the store.
The thief got the car started and was last seen headed north on N Orleans Street.