(TAYLOR, Mich.) -- Tom LaMay wasn't about to let the Grinch steal his Christmas. But that's what the 79-year-old Michigan man said he saw happening Christmas Eve when he and his wife Mary came home from shopping for bird seed.
LaMay told ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV in Detroit that when he pulled up to his house, there was a strange car in the driveway, with the trunk open and an old rag hanging over the license plate. He told his wife to call 911 while he investigated. As he walked up the driveway, he said, a man in his 20s confronted him and told him there was no one home.
"He reached for tire iron in the back of the car," LaMay said. "He said, 'I'm gonna hurt you, old man.'"
LaMay said he was able to wrestle the man to the ground, but as they struggled the suspected thief seemed to have the advantage, and even bit the 79-year-old's hand.
"He got the better of me, and I was on the bottom in this snow pile," he said. "And I kept grabbing his legs and tripping him, until eventually I got the supremacy, I was on top. And I kept hitting him, trying to keep him occupied, while my wife could successfully use the telephone and get this guy down."
Mary LaMay was able to call the police in time, and as the cops approached the house, the suspect jumped in his car and sped off. Police caught him, however, when he crashed a short distance away.
Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio