Have-a-go heroes chase down burglar
HAVE-A-GO heroes wrestled a thief to the ground after a chase that they described as “a Benny Hill moment”.
Nick Staff and a friend, who did not want to be named, were on their way home from a dinner party in Great Bowden with friends when they heard the alarm going off at Welton’s shop in the village.
Mr Staff, of Knights End Road, Great Bowden, said: “The two of us had gone out for a meal and we were there with some friends.
“Walking back, the alarm was going off at Welton’s. You kind of ignore them but then I just thought ‘I will have a quick look’.
“There were two lads walking from Welton’s with a box in their hands.”
Builder Mr Staff (44), challenged them both and asked them what they were doing. He said: “One of the lads ran off. I shouted to a friend, to grab him or get after him.
“I looked back at the other lad and he was being chased by my friend. It was a bit like a Benny Hill moment.
“He grabbed him. I joined in, and we grabbed him together and then, I think the word for it is, wrestled him to the ground.”
The chase lasted for about 60 metres. After they had grabbed the thief the pair held him there until the police arrived around ten minutes later.
The man they apprehended, Luke O’Neill of Spring Rise, Kettering, was taken to hospital with bruising and a dislocated shoulder, the Mail understands.
O’Neill has since appeared before court, where he admitted trying to steal £2,000 of cigarettes. The incident took place in the early hours on November 25.
Mr Staff said: “I built the extension at Welton’s that they had broken into, but that wasn’t going through my head.
“I just thought, ‘you shouldn’t be doing this and I’m going to get you’.
“It was the best Saturday night I’ve had for a long time. I wouldn’t have caught him without my friend.”
His friend told the Mail: “I was pretty angry that someone was coming into our village and breaking into our shop and who am I to stand by and let that happen?
“We only did what any normal person would do or what we would normally expect other people to do.”
The burglary of Welton’s happened on November 25 when £2,000 worth of cigarettes were stolen, the court service said.
The cigarettes were recovered by Mr Staff and his friend but Nicky Ransome, owner of Welton’s, said the damage done to the shop during the break-in will cost about £2,000 to repair.
Luke O’Neill (26) pleaded guilty to theft at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on November 27
O’Neill was remanded in custody and is due to appear before Leicester Crown Court for sentencing on December 18.
A second man involved in the incident is being sought by police.
Anyone with information can call officers on 0116 2222222.
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Weather for Market Harborough
Tuesday 18 June 2013
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