Greeley grandmother fights off man trying to steal car with children inside

GREELEY, Colo. -- A Greeley grandmother fought off a suspected car thief Monday evening when he tried to take her SUV with her two young grandchildren still buckled up inside.

It happened shortly after 5 p.m. in the driveway of the family's home on the 100 block of 48th Avenue.

Michelle Nigra says her 9 and 10-year-old granddaughters were buckled up in the vehicle, when she stepped in front of the SUV and into her garage for a quick second.

That's when she says a man came running and jumped behind the wheel.

"I was like 'oh no, this isn't gonna happen. This is not gonna happen.' I saw the grand kids over his shoulder screaming," Nigra said.

ralph-garcia-03-25-1967

Ralph Garcia

Nigra rushed toward the SUV and grabbed onto the door. She then began wrestling with the man in the front seat trying to pulling him out.

"I figured he's taking off. I grabbed him and yelled get out of my car, get out of my car. He wasn't doing anything," she said.

Finally, thanks to a little help from the family dog who was biting the man in the front seat, and her granddaughter in the back who was hitting the man with a catalog, Nigra managed to wrestle him out of the vehicle and to the ground.

"We fell out of the car. I was on him trying to see if I could get him away from the car," she said.

The surprised suspect gave up and took off running.

"I told her she was a bad ass," said Jen Rodriguez, Michelle Nigra's next door neighbor.

49-year-old Ralph Carpio Garcia was arrested just a few blocks away, thwarted by a grandmother he just couldn't outrun.

"He didn't realize what he brought on to himself," Nigra said.