Man allegedly steals three vehicles, two Palmer Rapids teens say they wrestled theirs away

Sarah Crookall
Staff Reporter

The roads were coated in heavy snow on the evening of Jan. 17. Visibility was low when a man — who had allegedly already stolen two vehicles — was looking for a third.

The man’s plans were completely unknown to two teenage boys who say they stopped to help the man whose car ran into the ditch in the Municipality of Hastings Highlands.

During the severe winter snowstorm last Monday, 19-year-old Austin Millard and 17-year-old Noah Millard say they stopped to help the driver stuck near Highway 62 and Kamaniskeg Lake Lookout Road.

According to the teens, the man asked if they had chains to pull his vehicle out of the ditch. The boys were checking their dad’s Suburban when the man quickly jumped into the vehicle and “floored it”.

Timothy O’Brien, a 33-year-old Waterloo resident, has since been charged with three counts of theft of a motor vehicle, two counts of property obtained by crime under $5,000, two counts of fleeing from peace officer, dangerous operation, and failure to comply.

“My first reaction – I went to go and grab hold of his hands and tried to pull him out of the door,” Austin Millard told the Valley Gazette. “And my brother – he was trying to – I think he was half-reached into the backseat of the vehicle – so he hopped all the way in.”

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