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Burglar stole the wrong car keys — and woke his victims to get the right ones, Colo. cops say

Randy Mata, 34, faces first-degree burglary charges in Pueblo, Colorado, police said.
Randy Mata, 34, faces first-degree burglary charges in Pueblo, Colorado, police said. Pueblo Police Department

A Colorado burglar had just filled up his victims’ car with the goods he planned to steal when he realized his mistake, authorities said.

Randy Mata, the 34-year-old suspected burglar, had accidentally grabbed the wrong set of car keys — so he couldn’t steal the vehicle he had found in their detached garage to get away from the crime scene, according to police.

The would-be burglar’s solution? Mata went back inside the victims’ home in Pueblo, Colorado, around 4 a.m. on Thursday to wake them up and demand the correct set of keys to the car he wanted to steal, police said.

It didn’t go as planned.

“He came into our bedroom and started demanding the keys,” said resident Alex Clark, KRDO reports. “I calmly told him I’d get them and reached over and grabbed my firearm and then held him at gunpoint.”

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Clark chased Mata out of the house and into the home’s backyard, according to police.

That’s where Clark and Mata were (with Mata still held at gunpoint) when officers arrived to arrest him, police said. Clark’s wife had also been sleeping in bed when Mata showed up and woke them, KRDO reports.

Officers took Mata into custody on first-degree burglary and several other charges, according to police. He was booked at the Pueblo County Detention Center.

“it’s admirable what he did,” said Capt. Kenny Rider of the Pueblo Police Department, KRDO reports. “He was able to protect his family and protect himself and get this guy in custody.”

Sometimes plans don't quite work out as intended. Take a look at some would-be criminals who could have used a practice run or two.

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