Champion jiu-jitsu fighter and special forces veteran stops suspected car thief

Champion jiu-jitsu fighter and special forces veteran stops suspected car thief
Abreu Campos teaches Jiu Jitsu lesson at a training facility in Shelby County.

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A Birmingham man is facing charges after he was caught allegedly breaking into cars in downtown. The man credited with saving the day is a champion jiu-jitsu fighter.

Last week, Rachel Jacobs spotted the man trying to break into her neighbor's car in downtown Birmingham.

"Fifteen feet away from me away from me this guy was like turned around trying to break into the car and the dog’s bark actually startled him,” Jacobs said.

She says the man tried to play it off. That’s when she ran inside and got her boyfriend, Abreu Campos, who just so happens to be a world champion jiu-jitsu fighter, to take care of the situation.

By that time, the guy had allegedly broken into someone else’s car. He was looking around making sure no one saw him.

Little did he know, Campos - who is also a Brazilian Special Forces veteran - had the man in his sights and dove on top of him in the car.

"I went straight to his back and grabbed onto his neck and hold with his sweatshirt. I used his own sweat shirt to choke him out,” Campos said.

Campos says the man passed out. He then drags the suspected car thief out of the car and sits on him until the cops show up. Campos doesn’t see his actions as heroic. He says he was in the right place at the right time.

“I just tried doing the right thing. We work so hard for what we got and I don’t think it’s fair someone can just come and get it,” Campos said.

Birmingham Police tell us the man arrested is facing breaking and entering charges. Campos says in hindsight, it probably wasn’t a good idea going after the guy, but he says he would do it all over again if need be.

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