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A priest and a sacristan fought off and subdued a would-be robber at María Madre de la Iglesia parish in Tijuana’s Colonia Jardines del Rubí neighborhood on Wednesday night, September 30, according to a municipal police report.

Father Francisco Javier Montes Ramírez, who is pastor at the church, and sacristan José Alfredo Espinoza Corona told officers they surprised the would-be thief in flagrante delicto, and that even though the crook threatened to slice up the priest with a pair of scissors, the two men were able to overpower him.

By the time police arrived, Father Montes and Espinoza had subdued Álvaro Domínguez Villa, 30, and then they turned him over to the officers. They took him to the state district attorney’s office, where he will be jailed until prosecutors determine what criminal charges to file.

The incident at the catholic church is at least the second in recent weeks in which crime victims have fought back against their attackers.

On the night of September 21, two armed men tried to rob a tortillería in Tijuana’s Lomas de Amistad neighborhood — only to find angry employees and neighbors not in the mood to be victims. Angered by the robbery attempt, neighbors intervened and were able to subdue the pair before they could get away. One of the thieves pulled out and fired a revolver, but the bullet hit the thief in his own foot. The angry crowd turned over to police Ismael Guerrero Basulto, 28, and Roberto "N," 17, who was not fully identified because of his age.

Officers said the 1600 pesos taken in the robbery (about $123) was recovered from the thieves. The wounded thief was allowed to receive medical attention before being jailed by state prosecutors.

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