SHOPLIFTERS beware – there’s a new crime-fighter in town.
Tim Hazeldine was having a break from work in Cowplain when he spotted a dishevelled-looking man running from a pharmacy with perfume gift boxes.
Rather than walk on by, the 31-year-old, a property secretary at Lidl, rushed off in pursuit of the thief, who had targeted Tuckers Pharmacy in London Road.
He said: ‘A guy ran out carrying lots of boxes.
‘A couple of ladies came out chasing him, I just ran after him and went.
‘There wasn’t anything in my head except “stop him” to be honest.
‘I do a lot of sport, I’m quite fast and I knew he would have to be extremely fast carrying the boxes to outrun me. He wasn’t even close.’
When Tim caught up with the thief, the shoplifter threw the boxes back to him and ran.
‘He was one side of the building, I went round the back and I stood in front of him.
‘He chucked the boxes in front of me and said: “you have them”, and then he ran off. I’ve not done it before but it was just instinct.’
David Keast, ward councillor for Cowplain, says that Tim’s response to the incident was ‘admirable’, but warned other members of the public to follow police advice and not to intervene in similar incidents to ensure their personal safety.
He said: ‘I can definitely understand the reaction of any law-abiding citizen wanting to bring someone committing a crime to book.
‘I think the gentleman is to be commended for his public spiritedness. At the same time, you need to temper that with a certain consideration for the police’s advice.’
The incident at Tuckers Pharmacy was not reported to police.
Neither Hampshire Constabulary nor Tuckers Pharmacy wanted to comment on it.