MERCED, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – An attempt to steal a car outside a Merced 7-Eleven early Friday morning ended with an arrest, according to police.

Officers say 46-year-old Paul Benitez got into a parked car outside a 7-Eleven at R Street and 18th Street and tried to steal it, but the owner had taken the keys inside with him.

Investigators say just before 1 a.m. their officers were dispatched to the convenience store for a call of a disturbance.  The disturbance erupted when the car’s owner came out of the store and that’s when they say Benitez attacked him in an attempt to get the keys.

Officers say Benitez then fled the area, but they were able to catch up with him a short distance away at O Street and 18th Street.

The victim was able to confirm to police that Benitez was the attacker, in conjunction with surveillance footage, they were able to corroborate his involvement in the incident.

The victim was uninjured in the ordeal and Benitez was booked into the Merced County Jail.