police line

Confronting thief costs man his life; observers retaliate with beating

The suspect entered a restaurant in México state and demanded patrons' valuables

A thief who tried to mug patrons at a México state restaurant and killed a diner who fought back became a target himself when bystanders took off after him and attempted a lynching.

Thursday’s incident when the would-be thief entered La Morenita restaurant in Tecámac with a gun and began demanding that customers give him their valuables.

Edgar Marcel, a local administrator with the federal Attorney General’s Office, confronted the thief and attacked him, trying to take away his gun, but the attempt failed and Marcel was shot and killed.

When the thief fled the scene, the restaurant’s 48- and 41-year-old owners began pursuing him through the streets outside. The thief fired more shots at them, causing minor injuries to both men but also attracting the attention of bystanders, who joined the pursuit, caught the suspect and overpowered him.

They beat the man until he fell unconscious and left him on the pavement with his gun placed next to his body.

When police arrived they took the thief, who showed vital signs, as well as the injured restaurant owners to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Two similar incidents have occurred in Tecámac in the past week.

On January 22, passengers on a Servicio Expresso passenger bus traveling on the Mexico-Pachuca highway toward Mexico City attacked a would-be thief who tried to hold up passengers with a gun.

The commuters overpowered the man when he became distracted and then beat him to death while the bus was en route. There were no arrests.

The following day, also in Tecámac, passengers on a bus owned by the Cometa de Oro company fought back against three armed thieves. In the process of demanding the passengers’ belongings, the men opened fire inside the bus, wounding one of the passengers.

When the thieves began to flee, passengers fought back and captured one of the suspects, beating him before police arrived and took him into custody.

Sources: El Universal (sp), La Prensa (sp), Milenio (sp)

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