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A man walked into his front door one evening and came face to face with a home intruder, who was stealing electronics and jewelry.
The home opener said that instead of calling the cops or running, he “went Mike Tyson on him.”
California resident Sal Mercado pulled up to his Oak Park home in the evening and noticed a strange car with a driver in it outside his home.
He thought it was strange, but shrugged it off as a coincidence and headed inside. As soon as he walked in, he knew why the vehicle was waiting outside his home.
He saw the intruder and said he instinctively punched the burglar several times before the suspect fled to his front yard.
“He starts to go through the side of me to get out of the house, but I went BAM with the right cross, and he went down onto the grass of the front yard, picked himself up and ran to the car,” recalled Mercado.
The suspect was a part of an organized “crime tourism” ring, which is foreign individuals who cross state to international borders to commit crimes before returning to their original state or country.
“The thought was, ‘I got this guy. I’m going to catch him. I want to make sure he gets prosecuted. I want to make sure I hold him down until the cops get here, because our government is not doing enough to fight crime,’” said Sal Mercado, who spoke with Eyewitness News about the encounter.
“My mentality was, ‘Don’t let this guy escape.’”
Sadly, the first suspect got away to the car that was waiting outside his home. However, Mercado ran into a second thief who came running down the stairs. Once again, Mercado “went Mike Tyson on him.”
“He came at me … I didn’t know if he had weapons before anything could happen,” said the homeowner. “I just went BAM with the right, BAM with the left … I went Mike Tyson on him. He stumbled then he fell on the grass coming out of the house.”
He took this theif to the ground and restrained him while he yelled at neighbors to call the police.
“I tackled him and shoved him into the bushes on the side of my house again,” said Mercado. “The way I tackled him … grabbing his arms, pulling them back, pin them on the back, and then put my full weight on his head, but he was all bloody and my whole arms were bloody.”
The burglar was identified as 43-year-old Chilean migrant Alexis Provoste. He was treated at a local hospital for multiple facial fractures and then was charged with conspiracy and first-degree residential burglary, KTLA reported.
“I just didn’t give him a chance, just hit him, because first of all, I don’t know if he has a gun, a knife, any kind of weapon, right? You just don’t know. Your mind goes crazy,” Mercado said.
Authorities explained that the burglars will apply for visas online and fly into LAX to specifically target homeowners.
“They’ll typically case neighborhoods in advance and see ways they can get in and out,” said Deputy Ashley Barrios.
Mercado said he was upset he didn’t catch both the thieves, but is glad he at least caught one.
He was asked if he would react in the same way if it happened again and he said, “I’d do it again.”