2006-07-28 / Front Page

Auto Theft Triggers Heart Attack

A Broad Channel man suffered a massive heart attack and was rushed to the hospital Tuesday after his home was broken into and his SUV was stolen, police said.

Jeffrey James, 51, of Shad Creek Road was rushed to Peninsula Hospital Center by a family member after his Jeep Cherokee was stolen from his driveway, according to police. The brazen thief entered James' home late at night and snatched the keys, a purse and other items before driving off in the SUV.

The unusual event unfolded when James received a phone call at about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday from a friend who saw someone else driving James' car southbound on Cross Bay Boulevard. James and his son called 911 and headed out in search of the vehicle and the mystery driver.

Police quickly discovered the abandoned SUV on the boulevard near West 16 Road. James' Cherokee had a flat and its spare tire and a lug wrench were outside the vehicle, which led police to conclude that the thief tried to swap out the bad tire and get away but couldn't locate the jack and eventually gave up searching for it and ran off.

Sources said James complained of chest pain after getting his SUV back and was rushed to the hospital by his son. He was transferred to Long Island Jewish Medical Center where he underwent heart surgery and was recovering as The Wave went to press.

News of the incident upset members of the tight-knit community, where neighbors look out for one another and crime is low.

Anyone with information is asked to call the 100 Precinct Detective Squad at (718) 318-4221.

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