Cleveland police say a man stole a city-owned vehicle that was left running with the keys in the ignition.
The witness told police he was working for the city writing parking tickets when the car was stolen.
The suspect drove away eastbound on Prospect Avenue from 2402 Prospect.
The victim's cell phone was inside the car when it was stolen, so he had to flag down a passing driver to call 911.
Police broadcast a description and partial plate of the city vehicle and it was found a short time later going southbound on East 40th. Police followed the vehicle to a parking lot on East 40th and Bohn Road where two men got out of the car and fled through the projects.
Police believe the original suspect picked up the second suspect on his way to East 4th. One of the suspects took the victim's phone with him while fleeing the car.
Detectives say Cleveland State surveillance cameras in the area of 1843 Chester Avenue may have captured some of the incident.