NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. - Witnesses took the law into their own hands after a man broke into a North Fort Myers home. It happened on Cypress Street, just south of the intersection of U.S. 41 and Pondella Road around 8:45 Wednesday night.
Robert Hinson was sitting on his porch when he heard the sound of breaking glass. "I looked up and I saw him going into the house," Hinson said. "That is when I told my granddaughter, get in the house, and I went in and called the police."
Deputies say 44-year-old Michael Todd Smith smashed through the door of a home next-door. Brothers, Daniel and Aaron Cason heard it and darted across the street to investigate.
"My husband came over here and met the gentleman at the door," neighbor Tiffany Schmidt said. "When he opened the door again, my husband asked, what are you doing? The guy hurried up and closed the door, locked the door and my husband said, you're not going anywhere. You're not going to try to get out. You're busted. You're done."
According to the arrest report, Smith broke through the back window and a break-in turned into a foot chase. The brothers soon wrestled Smith to the ground, holding him until deputies arrived.
"Actually being able to capture one of them is a little brush off our shoulder," Schmidt said. "A little more comfort knowing he is not here on the streets to do this to anybody again. He got what he deserved, absolutely."
"I was shocked to see someone would be so ignorant to do that in front of people like he did," Hinson said.
Neighbors quickly covered the broken glass with boards. They have one message for any other criminals:
"It doesn't matter what time of the night it is or what time of the day it is, someone is always watching on Cypress Street," Schmidt said.
Smith remains in the Lee County Jail.
WINK News stopped by Smith's former address. A person who has known him for many years tells us he is a "career criminal" and if he gets out, they fear he'll do it again.