While taking a break in a hotel room in Villemomble, north east of Paris, last Thursday, the driver saw two men acting suspiciously from his window.
He witnessed them looking at his van which contained a stock of shoes ready to be transported to England.
“One of the men was dressed in overalls and was keeping a look out while his accomplice forced open the victim’s van door,” said a source close to the case.
“The pair then grabbed several of the boxes of shoes and put them in another van before fleeing.”
The driver left his hotel room dressed in only his underpants, socks and a t-shirt to try and stop them.
Standing in front of the moving vehicle, he decided to jump on the hood, and crawled onto the roof while the van was still in motion.
The two men in the vehicle drove for a further kilometre through the town before getting blocked by traffic.
One of the men fled the scene as soon as the van stopped, while the other tried to bargain with the van driver, offering all his goods back if he let him go.
Police arrested the man as soon as they arrived on the scene and took him in for questioning.