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Michigan mat alum A.J. Grant catches neighborhood thief

We should all be lucky enough to have a neighbor like A.J. Grant.

The former University of Michigan NCAA All-American wrestler helped Atlanta area police catch a man accused of stealing a neighbor's lawn equipment this week.

Grant was washing dishes Monday evening when his dog started barking. Looking out the window, the Wolverine wrestling alum noticed the door of his neighbor's shed was open ... then saw a man come out with a lawnmower and trimmers.

"I came through the gate, as I came this way I noticed there was a U-Haul parked over [there]," Grant told the Fox TV affiliate in Atlanta Thursday. "The window was down, so I came in threw it in park and tried to get the keys out."

Grant said the driver punched him in the head.

Meanwhile, the man who reportedly took the lawn equipment out of the neighbor's shed took off running ... with Grant hot on his heels.

The Michigan mat star caught the suspect and pinned him to the ground until police arrived. That suspect has been charged with burglary and criminal trespass. The person driving the U-Haul got away with trimmers. The lawnmower was recovered and returned to its owner.

Grant was rather modest about his helping to collar the suspected thief.

"I guess it's part of being neighbors really," Grant told the Fox reporter. "I mean, he's in here stealing things from people and I just wanted to make sure he got in trouble for what he did."

News of Grant's heroics made it back to his native Michigan, where it was covered by the Detroit News.

According to the paper, Grant is a native of Clarkston, Mich., and a 1999 graduate of Clarkston High, where won back-to-back Michigan state titles in 1998 and 1999.

While at Michigan, Grant wrestled at 125 pounds, where he earned NCAA All-American honors in 2001 and 2003 by placing fourth at Nationals. The four-time letterman was also a finalist at the 2003 Big Ten conference championships.

All those high school and college mat accomplishments aside, wrestling fans have to admire Grant for calling on those athletic skills to take down the alleged thief.

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