A thief was forced to abandon a car stolen from a gas station after it was damaged in a crash, according to Madison police.

A 33-year-old Fitchburg woman told police she left her car running at a gas pump at the Mobil gas station at 4601 Verona Road Tuesday afternoon while she went in to prepay for gas when she spotted a man getting into her car.

The woman tried to stop the man, and she struck her head when she fell to the ground. Police said she wasn’t struck by the car, but the sudden movement of the car caused her to fall.

The thief put the car into reverse, gunned the engine and struck a delivery truck, police said.

The car sped off and police said the thief abandoned the car in the middle of Britta Parkway, a short distance away, because the rear of the car was damaged so much it was not drivable.

The thief is described as Hispanic, in his mid-20s with a medium weight and height. He was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt.