A stolen car was parked on the roof of a Californian building last week after the thief apparently hit a tree stump which launched the vehicle into the air.

Landlord of the building, Gary Barr told American press that he thought it was a joke when his tenant rang to tell him a car had landed on their roof.

"I had to actually go online to see it and still couldn't believe it, that's why I'm over here checking it out," he said.

Jeanell Ricks was babysitting her nephew in the house when it happened; she felt the house moving and assumed there had been an earthquake.

She said: "I thought it was an earthquake, 'cause I heard the house moving, I saw the house moving."

The 25-year-old driver, Benjamin Tucker, got down from the roof and fled the scene before being arrested at his ex-girlfriend's house. He has been charged with hit and run, auto-theft and fleeing from a police officer.

Police officer Anthony Martinez told local television outfit KFSN-TV: "I've been a police officer for 22 years and I have never seen anything like this in my life.

"When I was on my way out here, my officers told me that they thought Santa was driving car. But I realised that was just a joke.

"I really don't know how the car got up there."

The car was later removed using a crane to steadily lower the vehicle to the ground and amazingly, nobody was injured nor was there any damage to the roofing or interior of the property.