Merced man assaulted after confronting suspected burglar

A Merced man suffered minor injuries Sunday afternoon when he chased down an escaping burglar, police said.

The victim, whose name was not released for safety reasons, apparently saw the burglar about 4:20 p.m. bicycle away from his home in the 300 block of East 21st Street, the Merced police said in a news release.

The man caught up to the burglar, who then threatened to kill the man and struck him in the head with an unidentified blunt object, Capt. Tom Trindad said.

The burglar left the area on a chrome BMX bicycle, police said.

No arrests have been made. A list of missing property was not available Monday, but Trindad said the victim estimated the stolen property’s value at about $1,200.

The victim suffered unspecified minor head injuries but refused medical attention at the scene, saying he would seek his own treatment, police said.

Trindad said generally it’s not a good idea for people to confront suspected criminals on the street. “Just because you just never know if that person has a gun or another weapon or what they’re capable of,” Trindad said. “We encourage people to just try to be the best witness possible; to stay safe, observe as much as possible, collect as many details as you can and call police.”

Police described the burglar as a Latino man between 20 and 30 years old. He has tattoos on both arms and was last seen wearing a gray T-shirt and gray shorts.

Investigators ask anyone with any information regarding this incident to contact Detective Joe Deliman at (209) 385-6992, or the Merced Police Department tip line at (209) 385-4725. Information can be sent via anonymous text message to the department by dialing TIP411 (847411) and including the word “ComVIP” as the keyword in the text message.