WATCH: Alleged thief tackled and tied up during home robbery
A Brisbane sales rep who had his keys and wallet stolen at work arrived home an hour later to find the alleged perpetrator mid-robbery, crash tackling him before his boss bound the man's hands with an extension chord while a shocked neighbour filmed.
Holland Park man Ismaila 'Izzy' Singhateh, 24, has been hailed a "hero" by his admiring housemates, especially marketing manager Veronica Walijewska, whose priceless heirloom jewellery box was in the alleged thief's arms when Mr Singhateh intervened.
Police say Gambian-born Mr Singhateh was setting up a display of tiles at Bunnings Rocklea on Monday about 10am when the alleged thief struck, pilfering Mr Singhateh's backpack.
A short while later, Mr Singhateh began receiving bank alerts for about $200 worth of transactions at Sherwood Rd, Rocklea, twigging him on to the fact he may have been robbed.
Mr Singhateh's boss alerted him to the possibility the alleged thief would target his home as he had his keys and address via his driver's license.
Mr Singhateh said the moment he turned onto Binya St with his boss he could see his Hyundai Accent had been stolen.
The pair went inside via the open garage and came face-to-face with the alleged thief carrying "arms full" of stolen property.
Without thinking, Mr Singhateh sprung into action, grappling with the alleged thief as the pair rolled down the stairs before gaining the upper hand by placing him in a headlock.
"He was flailing about, he had his hands full," Mr Singhateh said.
"He was saying to me, 'You're hurting me, let me go, let me go'."
Once the man was subdued, Mr Singhateh's boss bound his hands with an extension chord and he was arrested when police arrived a short time later, but not before Mr Singhateh offered him a drink of water because he "looked thirsty".
A picture of the citizen's arrest shows silver coins from a money tin in the alleged thief's possession at the time of the struggle strewn throughout the backyard.
A wall-mounted TV was also allegedly stolen, wrenched off the wall taking a big chunk of plaster with it.
Mr Singhateh's car remains missing.
"He (allegedly) stole the most random stuff," housemate Darcy Savage said.
"He didn't take either of our laptops, but he took the money tin and had an almost-empty bottle of my cologne in his pocket."
Mr Savage was privy to the whole ordeal - Mr Singhateh called him when he saw his car was stolen not realising the alleged offender was still inside.
"He was saying, 'Oh no, the garage door is open, I think we've been robbed', then all of a sudden, 'Oi!', and I start hearing him beat this guy up," Mr Savage said.
"Izzy is a pretty devout guy, he's never had an (alcoholic) drink.
"I've never heard him use that type of language before."
Mr Savage said he plans on alerting the Gambian media to their heroic expat.
"He's a Gambian celebrity," he laughed.
A 31-year-old Woodridge man appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday charged with five offences, including stealing, fraud, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, and enter premises by break and commit indictable offence.
He made no application for bail and has been remanded in custody until his next mention on September 30.
Originally published as WATCH: Alleged thief tackled, tied up during home robbery