A SHOP owner said he couldn’t believe the brass neck of a brazen thief who tried to steal a door knob in the cold light of day.

Noel Ferris, who runs Urban Prints in the Market Hall, off the Shambles in Worcester, spotted a suspicious looking man removing the brass door knobs from the entrance to the hall between 2.15pm and 2.30pm on Monday.

The 30-year-old would-be crime fighter confronted the thief, who claimed to be carrying out work on behalf of ‘the council’.

“He had a hi-vis jacket on but it was scruffy and didn’t say ‘Worcester City Council’ on,” said Mr Ferris. “I asked him what are you doing and he said he worked for the council and that the knobs would either be replaced or bought back.”

After talking with other business owners in the market hall, Mr Ferris decided to confront the man and chased after him.

“I caught up with him on City Walls Road,” he said.

“I said, ‘Have you got some identification or job sheet?’ and he said ‘no’ and if I didn’t believe him then I could have the knobs and screws back.” The man produced a knob and two screws, one from his mouth, which are now being tested for DNA.

“I couldn’t help thinking the brass neck of him,” said Mr Ferris, who is used to fighting for his rights after taking on the Premier League over a copyright dispute earlier this year.

“It is incredible that he was brazenly doing that in broad daylight wearing a hi-vis jacket.”

Although the scrap value is believed to be only £5 to £10 it is thought they could cost up to £40 to replace and Mr Ferris said it is a blow when the business owners in the market hall are trying to improve the venue. “It is annoying because we have been trying to smarten up the market hall,” he said.

West Mercia Police are now looking for people who may recognise the man who removed the knobs.

He is described as being white, about 50 years old, 5ft 8in in height, quite stocky and spoke with a local accent.

On Monday he was wearing a pink polo shirt, light-coloured trousers and carrying a hi-vis jacket.

Anyone with information should contact the police on 101 and quote reference number 382S-020913.