SAN ANTONIO -

An alert neighbor is being credited for catching a burglary suspect outside an auto shop on the South Side.

The attempted burglary happened Sunday around 10 p.m. in the 6800 block of South Flores.

San Antonio police said a neighbor heard noises coming from Elite Automotive and Transmission, and when he went to investigate, he saw a man breaking into cars.

The neighbor and other men then held down the suspected thief, 20-year-old Alfred Estrada Jr., until police arrived.

When Manuel Delgado drove by, he said he thought Estrada was the victim.

"I thought maybe they had beat him up or something, but after a while, I (saw) SAPD come by, and they were, like, flashing him down with a flashlight," he said.

Estrada was charged with burglary of a vehicle and criminal mischief. He already had a criminal history including vehicle burglary, police said.

The suspected burglar was arrested and charged with four counts of burglary to a vehicle. He also had an outstanding warrant for graffiti damage and four prior burglary charges, San Antonio police said.

Officers said without the group of men who detained Estrada, he might have escaped.

"Most of the time, you know, the thieves get away. I mean, I know the police department is very busy, and they have other calls," Delgado said. "Sometimes we ... have to take justice in our own hands."

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