ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A man fed up with the crime in his neighborhood tried something new when he says he caught suspected thieves in the act.
Michael Garza said he was at his home on 14th Street near Central on Monday morning when he heard noises outside.
“I heard somebody shaking the door, and I figured it was just the mailman,” Garza said.
However, when he checked it out, he did not find the mailman at his door.
He said he found a woman looking for a key and trying to get in while a man stayed behind her, allegedly on the lookout.
Neither of them expected what happened next. Garza approached the two outside of his house to get video of them, sharing it on social media so all of his neighbors can spot them if they come around again.
Albuquerque Police tells KRQE News 13 that the man in the video is Joseph Cadena, a man they have arrested before on charges of receiving or transferring stolen motor vehicles.
In this case, police say there is no proof that he committed a crime.
Online court records show Cadena has a stolen car case pending and three other stolen car cases that were dismissed.
KRQE blurred the woman Garza captured video of because police could not identify her and, despite her intentions, she did not actually break into Garza’s home.
Garza said he followed the two that he suspected of trying to break in all the way to a bus stop on Central before calling police.
He hopes the video helps his neighbors stay on the lookout.
“I wanted to make sure that people could spot them if they did come back,” Garza said.
In the past, Garza said, he has spotted someone trying to get into his garage. “I was in the garage when they were breaking into it,” he said.
In another instance, he said a thief stole his motorcycle.
Then, there was the time his neighbor called police when she witnessed a woman breaking into Garza’s house.
“We heard the glass break, so I ran that way and I saw somebody’s feet going into the back of his bedroom window,” said Carol Kastning.
Just this weekend, police swarmed the area in a search of a car burglary suspect.
In an attempt to protect his family and secure his home, Garza said he has gotten a dog, an alarm system, a security camera and more locks.
He said, despite the risks, he felt it was important to catch the two people on video on Monday.
While APD said pictures and video certainly helps them track down criminals, police also say they never want anyone to put themselves in danger by confronting suspects on their own.