Soccer team manager thwarts would-be robber

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LILBURN, Ga. - Lilburn police are praising the actions of a soccer team manager, who they said stopped a thief dead in his tracks.

Channel 2's Tony Thomas found out moments later, the manager became the victim of a high-profile crime himself.

Michael Samnik was at the Kroger store on Highway 29 with his Phoenix Red Boys soccer team raising money for their post season tournaments.

While the team was there, cellphone video shows Benjamin Mayo trying to make a run for it after allegedly stealing from the store.

"As fast as he was moving, it just didn't make sense," Samnik said. "When that happened I started running over here and by the time I got over here they were parked right in front of this Crepe Myrtle" throwing groceries into the trunk of a car.

Samnik said his plan was to take a picture of the tag but then tried to grab Mayo and the chase was on.

Samnik took off running after Mayo.

"I just wanted to catch him," Samnik said.

And he did. A hole was left in the bushes where the two landed.

"We just both went in there and kind of rolled out," Samnik told Thomas showing him the bush.

On cellphone video shot by one of the soccer players, you can see Samnik holding the man down as police arrive.

"He was telling me he had got out of jail, prison, two days ago and that he just needed some food," Samnik said.

"Even though we don't recommend people normally do that, it turned out in this case he was successful in holding them for us," Lilburn Police Chief Bruce Hedley told Thomas.

Just a couple of hours later, the soccer team's fundraising money was stolen from Samnik's truck and he found himself talking with police for a second time that day.

Mayo is free on bond. His accomplice has not been found.



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