A group of neighbors chased down an alleged cell phone thief Sunday afternoon, tackling him to the ground and holding him until police could get to the scene, according to Lt. Saul Rodriguez with the Santa Monica Police Department. The suspect, 18-year-old Darnell Manuel, is due in court Tuesday to face robbery charges. He is currently held on $50,000 bail.

Police got the first call to 9-1-1 around 2 p.m. Sunday saying a group of witnesses had detained a young man just a block north of busy Montana Avenue. The chase began a few minutes before, when the man allegedly snatched a cell phone out of a woman’s hand while she walked her dog near 7th Street and Alta Avenue.

Witnesses immediately sprung into action, as the woman called for help and ran after the teenager. As the chase turned down a nearby alleyway, police say the suspect pushed two witnesses in an attempt to throw them off his trail.

Eventually, a driver saw what happened and jumped out of his car and tackled the suspect to the ground. Police say the man who ultimately detained the suspect was a Santa Monica resident.

The victim had a few scratches on her hand but did not require medical treatment. Police did not identify the victim or any of the witnesses to the Daily Press.

Lt. Rodriguez said it’s difficult to recommend when and how witnesses should get involved in an active chase when they see a crime.

“You never know who you’re dealing with,” Rodriguez said. “They could be armed. I would be very cautious with getting involved. It’s difficult to give any recommendations on how to interact. It all depends on who you are as an individual. I would usually say it’s better to call 911 and be a witness, but in this case it worked out well.”

The suspect, Manuel, grew up in Inglewood and turned 18-years-old less than two months ago on May 1.

Anyone with additional information can contact Detective Elias at (310) 458-8943 or SMPD at (310) 458-8491.