Republic police say a U.S. Marine caught a serial thief in the act. The Marine just returned to the Ozarks from a 13 week boot camp. "Marines pride themselves on being very physically fit," Private First Class Jacob Hopper said. January 17, Hopper says he noticed something strange in his grandpa's quiet Republic neighborhood. "I noticed the police car and a guy hopping fences running away," Hopper said. Another neighbor who spotted the same man breaking into cars had already called 911. Police say before he was spotted, the 18-year-old thief broke into 10 to 15 cars in the Cottages neighborhood. "This man is suspected in 25 plus car break-ins in Republic," Republic Police Department Sergeant Jamie Burks said. Hopper says he watched the man hop several fences. That’s when he hopped into a car with his brother-in-law to follow him. Hopper says the man ran to the neighborhood pool, took off his jacket and dropped some of the items he stole. Police say Hopper caught the fence hopper first. "I jumped out of the car as soon as we stopped and ran down and cut him off just before he got to the highway," Hopper said. "They didn't go hands on with him they just surrounded him," Burks said. The soldier says he used colorful language to convince the suspected thief to stay put for police to arrive at a nearby park. Police say they appreciated the “back up” but don't recommend citizen confrontations. "We tell people to get a good description, to get the time, direction of travel but we don’t want them to approach," Burks said. Hopper says he didn’t plan on tackling the man just making sure police could make the arrest. "Even if a Marine is home on leave we are always on duty," Hopper said. Hopper leaves in a few days for infantry training. After that he wants to join the Marine’s security forces school in hopes of one day protecting the president. Police say they submitted the case against the 18-year-old suspect to the Greene County prosecutor to file charges.