LAS VEGAS (KTNV/CNN) – A Las Vegas homeowner said he caught a porch pirate red-handed.
Alex Mazzola said he knew something wasn’t right when he saw an SUV pull up to his house and a man walk out of it Friday.
Little did the thief know, he picked the home of a former bounty hunter.
"I've arrested MS-13 guys. I mean, I've arrested some bad guys doing bounty hunting,” Mazzola said.
"He hit the wrong house at the wrong time. It was just perfect timing for the way it happened."
Mazzola took quick action when – watching his surveillance feed – he saw the thief approaching a delivery box containing a Vegas Golden Knights backyard decoration.
“As soon as I see him walking, and the way he’s walking with his hands up, hat down, I’m like, ‘Oh, they’re going to steal my package,’” Mazzola said. “So, I open up the door. His face was just like…I mean, he was scared.”
Mazzola’s surveillance video shows him with a gun in hand, chasing the man off his property and down the street.
But then something else catches Mazzola’s attention: The passenger in the SUV hops into the driver’s seat and starts backing away from the armed confrontation.
Mazzola said some passersby told him the SUV was ditched around the corner from his house. He went to investigate and then called Las Vegas Police.
Officers helped clear the car, but the would-be thieves were long gone.
Mazzola said police found other packages inside the SUV; he also said police told him the vehicle was stolen.
Personal safety experts say the best thing is not to confront a thief, but to call police.
But Nephi Oliva of the Las Vegas Gunfights shooting range offered this take on Mazzola’s actions: “We have to remember that law enforcement is also reactive. They’re not just going to magically have an officer show up and stop somebody from committing a crime or being violent towards you. So, what do we do in the meantime?”
Mazzola also recommends calling police rather than following his example.
“I don’t think [police] would suggest people to chase a package thief with a gun,” he said.