Citizens Tackle An Accused Thief To The Ground In Clovis

A group of people took matters into their own hands when a thief stole from a teen in Clovis.

"We got him, he wasn't getting far," says the teen.

The boy says the whole thing started when he was eating at a McDonald's with a friend. He says that's when the crook walked right up to him and took his hat.

"I was like are you serious," adds the teen, "Then he was like "What are you going to fight me for it?" and that's when he walked out. I didn't know what to do."

The teen says he left McDonald's and a group of people offered to help him. They asked the crook for the hat back, but the guy took off running.

"I was leaving lunch and I saw him being chased," says B.J. Ortenzio who helped catch the accused thief, "I went around trying to meet up with him, but he had already hopped the fence."

The group didn't let the guy go. He kept jumping over fences until he ended up in a backyard where someone was home.

"Oh it's terrible. I've got little kids at home and my back door broke a couple days ago, so it didn't even lock," says Aaron Bitton, "He could have come into my house if he wanted to."

An off duty Sheriff's Deputy saw what was going on and joined the chase. Then Ortenzio decided saw the group and ran the accused thief down with his skateboard.

"It's great, because I'm actually trying to be a CHP officer or a correctional officer," adds Ortenzio, "So, this is like a taste blood right here."

The other men who helped catch the accused thief didn't want to talk, but they say they're glad they chased the guy down. Police say it turns out he may have stolen much more than a hat.

Police add the thief had a stolen credit card. He's facing charges of grand theft, having a stolen credit card, and obstruction of justice.