Published: May 19, 2011 9:47 PM EDT
Updated: May 19, 2011 9:39 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- A man caught in the act of burglarizing a Lee County business makes a strange request to his captors. He asks them for a job.

It's not exactly the type of job interview folks at Ferguson Heating and Cooling are used to. The branch manager caught a man trying to take off with a portion of their fence. But when he confronted the thief, the man made an unexpected request.

Ralph Nieves says he's never seen anything like it...two thieves tearing apart and taking off with his company's fence in broad daylight.

"I asked them what are you doing? This is private property. They're not supposed to be here. He said he was just trying to survive, trying to make some money," Nieves said Thursday.

Ashley Williams and Browen Sweet later told deputies they were "junking", looking for stuff to sell. But the afternoon act left the two in handcuffs for felony grand theft. Nieves says Williams tried to take off when he confronted them, motioning for Sweet to follow. He blocked them in until help arrived.

"You don't know, are they going to run you over, or not. You don't know what's going to happen," Nieves said.

But during that time, Sweet made an unexpected request-- asking the manager for job.

"Really? For God's sakes, really?! Ask me for a job first, don't steal and then ask," Nieves said.

Instead of scoring a job, the pair landed in the Lee County Jail.