A Naples man is behind bars after police say a firefighter caught him inside his car trying to steal expensive items. Daniel Haizlip, 20, faces several burglary charges, and police say that more charges may be brought against him as they investigate a string of car burglaries from the weekend.
Naples firefighter Garrett Ocana was just returning to Fire Station 1 from a service call at around 9:30 a.m. Sunday when he noticed the door to his personal car across the street was open. Ocana walked closer and realized that someone was inside the car.
"He ended up getting out of my car, and he had some of my possessions in his arms," Ocana said. "I asked him what he was doing, and he continued to say 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry.' I told him to put it down."
He said the thief was holding his iPod, shoes and phones chargers. But when Ocana pulled out his cell phone and called 911, the man took off running.
"So I took off after him," Ocana said. "I ended up having to tackle him."
He said he dragged the man, later identified as Haizlip, back towards his car. He said Haizlip struggled.
"Later he was searched," Ocana said. "He had a knife on him."
Other firefighters helped subdue Haizlip until police arrived to take him into custody. Haizlip faces charges in connection with two other weekend car burglaries, including one on Osprey Avenue, where a handgun and three fully-loaded clips were reported stolen from an unlocked car.
"If you have a firearm, you want to make sure the firearm is secure," said Capt. John Barkley of the Naples Police Department.
Ocana said he was aware of the string of car burglaries, and usually locks his car. While he's trained to fight fire, he's glad he could also play a part in fighting crime.
"I didn't want this happening to anybody else," Ocana said. "So if I had a chance to subdue him, I was going to take it."
Barkley said that the gun Haizlip is accused of stealing had not yet been recovered Tuesday.