A HAVE-a-go-hero has told how jumped into action and bravely rugby tackled a purse thief to the floor.

Matthew Smith, aged 18, says he acted on instinct when he heard a woman shouting that her purse had been taken just as he was leaving the Asda superstore at St Martin's Quarter, in Worcester.

Mr Smith, a student at Heart of Worcestershire College, chased after the thief and tackled him to the ground from behind as he was running along Lowesmoor.

The thief dropped the purse and, although he ran off again, he was stopped by police a short while afterwards after running into nearby Foregate Street Station.

"I was just walking out of Asda with my missus when I heard a girl shouting 'he's got my purse' and I just dropped my bag immediately and ran after him, before tackling him to the floor," said Mr Smith.

"How could I not act when I saw what was happening?

"My missus said she was really proud of me and the victim was really thankful but I didn't really think anything of it.

"The main thing is that the purse got back to its owner."

Police say the purse had been stolen from a launderette in Lowesmoor after a woman put it down on a table while she was doing her washing between 12.35pm and 12.45pm on Tuesday.

The man then ran along Lowesmoor before Mr Smith tackled him and the victim picked up the purse from the floor.

The suspect was then seen running off into Foregate Street train station by another witness, who phoned the police.

A search then took place at the station before the suspect was identified and arrested.

PC Mark Broughton, of the Cathedral Safer Neighbourhood Team in Worcester, said: "I will be giving Matthew a call to say thanks for what he did, we are very thankful for the help from members of the public."

Anyone with information about the incident should call police on 101, quoting incident number 0278S 140217.

*A man has been arrested and charged with the theft of a purse and will appear Worcester Magistrates Court on Thursday, March 2.