Thief suspect detained by motor traders on Hayling Island in citizen's arrest style ambush

A THEFT suspect was detained in a citizen’s arrest style ambush by angry motor traders having been hunted down after a tip-off over goods being stolen from a garage.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 7:00 am

Traders say a woman was caught with scrap metal car batteries and alloy wheels belonging to garages in Hayling Island on February 11.

After cornering the female she allegedly started lashing out before items were removed from her on Manor Road.

Having been left empty handed – with police having been called close to 1.30pm – the woman then went awol on the island before officers managed to track her down and arrest her on suspicion of theft and common assault later in the afternoon.

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Hayling Automotive owners Victor Porrett (left) and Cameron Shopland

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The woman was first spotted by quick-thinking Cameron Shopland, co-owner of Hayling Automotive, while he was driving to an MOT centre in Havant just before midday.

‘I saw car batteries and alloy wheels oozing out the back of a Vauxhall Astra and thought “that’s not normal”,’ he said.

‘Stuff has gone missing from garages on the island. When items are taken for scrap they are normally transported in proper vans and I know all those who do it.

Stolen items were seen in a car on Hayling Island

‘When I was at the MOT station in Havant I was talking about it to some of the guys there when one said: “That’s my stuff.”’

This sparked the garage owner and other members of Hayling’s automotive industry to swarm the island – where the car was last seen – before they finally tracked down the woman in West Lane.

‘Her car was boxed-in with her left with nowhere to go. Her keys were taken out of the car and stuff belonging to the garage was taken off her. She had papers with her personal details, including her name and address, in her car,’ Cameron said.

‘All the locals clubbed together to track her down.’

Another garage trader said: ‘We made sure she couldn’t get out and go anywhere before the items were taken off her.

‘Hopefully she will not be setting foot in premises on Hayling Island again now.’

Despite the stolen items being back in possession of the garage owner, the woman refused to go down without a fight as she attempted to flee the area.

‘She was storming around Hayling spitting and lashing out at people for ages until the police finally turned up,’ Cameron said.

The female was finally arrested around 3pm on Manor Road with her vehicle recovered.

A trader said: ‘We did the police’s job for them. It took them ages to get here.’

Police confirmed being called to an incident. ‘It was reported that a woman had been spat at,’ a spokesman said.

‘This follows an allegation of theft of scrap metal from Havant Road, Hayling Island, which took place the same day.

‘A woman was arrested on suspicion of theft and common assault.

‘She has been released from custody but remains under investigation. Enquiries are ongoing.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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