The victim started walking back to his house in Worksop when he heard a noise, turned around and saw a man in the driver’s seat who then drove off.
Following enquiries officers on patrol in the area spotted the car on Wednesday (January 19) and followed it.
A suspect was detained shortly afterwards after running from the scene.
Working together, the determined officers quickly found a man hiding in a garden in the St Paul’s Road area and made an arrest.
A 23-year-old man was detained on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and following further checks he was further arrested on suspicion of offences committed in South Yorkshire.
Inspector Sue Wain, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Some good old-fashioned police teamwork enabled us to quickly detain a suspect despite his efforts to evade capture.
“The force treats reports of vehicle theft seriously. These type of crimes can have a huge impact on victims, leaving them without vital transport and out of pocket.
"As shown in this instance we will investigate reports and relentlessly pursue those believed to be responsible for this sort of offending in our communities.
“This incident also serves as a reminder to motorists to be aware of opportunist car thieves, most of whom are just looking for that one chance to steal your car.
"Many will take advantage of the cold and frosty mornings and be actively on the look-out for an easy target.”
For more advice about protecting your vehicle visit Nottinghamshire Police’s advice guide here.