I have a neighbor who is constantly telling me to watch out for thieves when I go surfing. “They’ll watch where you hide your keys,” he says. “Then they’ll steal all your shit.” I always laugh inwardly about it, because I drive an old beater pickup with absolutely nothing worth stealing inside it. But it happens, and it happened to Maliny Soukkhassem in Ventura last week. Lucky for her, she had a friend in the water who wasn’t afraid to bust a few knuckles on the burglar.
When Soukkhassem and her friend Jolie Bernal paddled out at Surfers’ Point in Ventura, they didn’t expect that Soukkhassem’s car was actually going to get broken into, although it was on Maliny’s mind. “I have that in my head all the time,” she told KEYT.com. After the pair had been out in the water for a few minutes, Soukkhassem glanced back at her vehicle, and couldn’t believe what she saw. “I had noticed there was a guy in my car,” she remembered. “I kind of had to do a double-take because I actually couldn’t believe there was a burglar in my car.”
From there, she yelled to her friend Jolie Bernal, who promptly caught a wave, exited the water, dragged the thief out of the car, and commenced punching him in the face. “I started booking it, just paddling in,” Bernal said. “Thankfully, I caught a wave in and so I got in pretty quickly. So I pulled him by the collar and pulled him out and punched him and started yelling at him.”
According to reports, the man in the car was Gordon Gleason. The 59-year-old was arrested on suspicion of vehicle burglary. “I think that adrenaline catches everyone and it’s something that’s inside all of us when you’re feeling violated, like you want to get justice,” Bernal told KEYT.com.