Chet Dunham, 72, had just finished breakfast and was walking up Kercheval Street when Jeffery Jones approached.
"I felt him in my pocket. I turned to see, well I see him, and there's nobody gonna have their hand in my pocket without me reacting. That's how fast it was, just seconds," said Dunham.
His aluminum cane scared off the 5-foot-10, 275-pound pickpocket. Jones backed away, saying he was just messing around.
"And I'm just waiting to see if he comes back at me to attack me and when I see his feet are planted I decide I've gotta get out of there and get help. I can't do anything with him," said Dunham.
After sizing him up, Dunham walked into a Bank of America branch and told a manager who got on the phone with police.
"So he walks by the window, I tell her that that's the man who tried to pick my pocket, so she's explaining what he looks like to the dispatcher," said Dunham.
Minutes later, patrol officers found the 23-year-old Eastpointe man and detained him. Dunham identified Jones outside the restaurant he was at just moments before.
"(Jones) observed Mr. Dunham, he thought he was going to be an easy target but obviously he wasn't," said Grosse Point Farms police Det. Bryan Ford.
Police say surveillance video shows Jones standing around for about 20 minutes. A few middle-aged people walked by, but Jones picked Dunham.
Clearly, he is the last man you'd want to pick a fight with.
"I just hit him, that was it," he said.
For this 72-year-old vet, a bad back, weak knees and torn rotator cuffs can still out-fight a young thief.
Jones has been charged with attempted larceny from a person -- a 5-year felony.
This is his first run-in with the law. He's behind bars on a $5,000 dollar bond.