Fresno Men Make Citizens Arrest After They Say A Man Tried To Steal A Car

Three Fresno men say they want crooks to know not to mess with their neighborhood.

Thanks to them, right now a man is behind bars.

Rudy Maldonado says he saw his roommate's car getting stolen.

"I just couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe someone would actually try to take a car from in front of a house. It was just a shock," said Maldonado.

Maldonado and his room mate Mitchell Burkes say they jumped into another car, and took off after the crook.

"We basically had a neighborhood chase going down block to block," said Maldonado.

They say the bad guy finally stopped the car in front of an apartment building, got out, and ran into a home.

Francis Valencia Jr. says he was in the house with his kids when the guy barged in.

"Who the heck are you, and what the hell are you doing in here? But in meaner words," said Valencia to the intruder.

"He tried to convince me to let him stay there, and that he would give me whatever I wanted he said," added Valencia.

But instead Valencia told him to get out.

He says he saw the bad guy bang on a few more doors, but after no one opened, he ran back into the street.

That's when Valencia went after him.

"He tried to get away from me, and I chased him down to the street, and he fell, and I got on top of him, and I held him down," said Valencia.

"He was telling me to let him go, he was begging for mercy, for pity, he wanted someone to pity him," said Valencia.

Valencia says he felt no pity and held him down until police arrived.

It was a big relief for Mitchell Burkes and Rudy Maldonado.

"I worked hard for everything I have and for someone just to take it ... of course I want him locked long as possible," said Burkes.

Burkes says he is thankful to have his car back, and thankful to people like Valencia.

"I'm not going to let someone get away with stealing a car in front of me. If I can help, that is what I am going to do," said Valencia.

Police currently have the suspect, Epolito Rojas in custody.

While Rojas was on the ground, the guys say they saw a bunch of Honda keys fall out of his pocket.

Burkes believes Rojas used one of those keys to break into his car, and get it started.

Fresno police advised Burkes to get a low-jack for his steering wheel as a safety measure.

Also as a safety measure, police do not encourage for people to take situations like this into their hands.