Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Heroes catch handbag thief
11:20am Wednesday 16th October 2013 in News
HAVE-a-go heroes leapt into action and stopped a robber in his tracks when he grabbed a woman’s handbag.
Brave members of a community group meeting at the Octagon centre in Poolbrook, Malvern, chased down the thief and hauled him to the ground before keeping him restrained until police arrived.
The robber, a 28-year-old man, had been approaching people at the centre and asking for money for about 30 minutes on Thursday afternoon last week.
When one woman refused, he grabbed her handbag and tried to force it from her, knocking her off her feet and dragging her across the carpet.
Martin Lawrence, who runs the regular Octagon Showcase event on Thursday afternoons, said things had happened so fast they had not had time to think.
“It was very dramatic,” he said. “I was chatting to someone when suddenly I heard the lady shouting ‘No, no, get off my bag.’ “I looked around and she was horizontal like Superman as he dragged her across the floor. He yanked the bag out of her hands and ran off into the car park.”
Mr Lawrence said the rest of the people there, about half a dozen men of all ages, immediately sprang into action.
“They set off in pursuit and I quickly followed after making sure the lady was okay,” he said. “We caught up with him and jumped on him and held him down as I shouted for somebody to dial 999.”
After police took the robber into custody, Mr Lawrence went back inside to check on the victim. She was still extremely shocked and had suffered grazing and bruising to her knee and elbow, so Mr Lawrence called out paramedics.
Malvern Hills police inspector Steph Brighton praised the bravery and quick-thinking of the Octagon Showcase members.
“We would like to give our personal thanks to the members of the public who assisted our team,” she said.
Members of Malvern police Safer Neighbourhood Team took to Twitter, using the hashtag HaveAGoHeroes to say “well done and thank you”, while south Worcestershire superintendent Mark Travis was also full of praise, tweeting: “Public detain robbery suspect in Malvern. Public support greatly appreciated.”
Mr Lawrence said he was very proud of the way members responded.
“Everyone just sprang into action, I have never seen anybody move so fast,” he said. “I think it just goes to show the strength of community, people leaping into action to protect their own.”
Comments are closed on this article.