A BAKER wearing a kangaroo onesie was forced to defend his family from a ‘drugged-up’ thief who attempted to raid his mum’s pub.
Gallant Jack Preston chased off the thug using a baseball bat after the crook tried to raid The Wellington, in High Street, Old Portsmouth.
Earlier in the evening, the burglar had snatched a set of keys to the public house, prompting the family to barricade the door to the business.
Hours later, at about 2am, the thief returned to try and ransack the popular boozer. But wary Jack was waiting for him and watched the burglar as he tried to force his way into his family home.
Jack, 23, said: ‘I saw him waiting outside, he was wearing a tracksuit, hoody and sunglasses in the dead of night. He was clearly on drugs.
‘My mum and my girlfriend were in the pub. My mum was going out of her mind in panic. She has never had this before. I was thinking what can I do to legally defend myself.
‘I have either got to let this guy in and ransack the place then let him go. Or I have got to take the risk and defend the place and if someone gets hurt, either him or me, I could get done by police.
‘I then see the guy coming across the road and trying to get in. I run down in a kangaroo onesie with a baseball bat and chase him down the road.’
Jack, who runs a bakery above the pub, leapt over the chair that was being used to barricade the door and chased the bumbling burglar down Broad Street before losing him near the Hot Walls.
Jack added the suspect was eventually found by police and arrested.
The attack was the latest burglary attempt on a city business in recent weeks.
Jack claimed there have been a surge in the number of people abusing drugs in Old Portsmouth as well as the number of young people throwing stones and trying to break into the cellar.
He added: ‘There are more police patrols but it just gets worse as the weather gets warmer.
‘They are a nuisance throwing stones and trying to get in the cellar. The police are doing all they can but the young people keep causing trouble.’
Portsmouth South Labour MP Stephen Morgan said the crime in the south of the city was a problem.
‘I am very concerned by this latest incident which follows a series of crimes affecting small businesses so vital to our local economy,’ he said.
‘Last week I wrote to the home secretary calling for urgent action on the increase in crime we are seeing. There is a real need for more resources for our hardworking police force.
‘I will continue to liaise with small businesses, local police teams and the new superintendent.
‘In partnership we must do everything possible to stamp down on these crimes affecting our communities and our local economy, because Portsmouth deserves better.’
A Hampshire police spokeswoman said that they were aware of a recent increase in anti-social behaviour around Old Portsmouth, which is an annual occurrence as the weather improves.
She said: ‘Police are working in conjunction with partner agencies to come up with a strategy to try to minimise the impact this problem is having on the people who live, work and visit the area.’