ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A thief picking through mailboxes chose the wrong one Thursday. It belonged to a champion MMA fighter.
As you would expect, he wasn’t about to let the thief get away.
“I look out the window and I see a car pulling up,” Keith Jardine said. “Some guy gets out, goes to my mailbox and grabs all my mail, throws it in his car and speeds off.”
Stealing mail is a bad idea, especially when it’s from Keith Jardine. He’s a champion MMA fighter and at 6-foot, 2-inches tall, 185 pounds, and someone you don’t want coming after you.
“I find my keys, run out of the house, jump into my Bronco and I chased down the street after him,” Jardine said.
The middleweight fighter says he eventually caught up with the thief in his Four Hills neighborhood.
“I drive up right next to him and I point at him and he speeds off,” Jardine said. “Then I speed past him and I slammed my Bronco right in front of him and I cut him off.”
Behind the wheel is 41-year-old Richard Davenport.
“I reached back like I was going to hit him and right then he yielded to everything. I pulled him out of the car,” Jardine said.
After coming to face with the thief, Jardine says he could see his mail sitting on the guy’s passenger seat. Jardine says Davenport played dumb, saying he was picking up the mail for a friend.
Turns out, Jardine wasn’t the only who had his mail stolen.
“Then the cops told me there was a lot of mail in the backseat,” Jardine said.
Davenport has a history. He was nabbed for home burglary twice in 1999.
Lucky for him, he didn’t become Jardine’s next KO. “The Dean of Mean” kept calm and waited for the cops.
“I held him down and called police and that was pretty much it,” he said.
Jardine has some choice words for any would-be thieves.
“The most cowardly thing you can do is steal from somebody.”
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is investigating this case. A spokesperson couldn’t tell us exactly what kind of charges Davenport faces.
Neighbors we talked to say this is a problem they’ve seen before. Many have gotten locked mailboxes to curb the mail theft.