An estate agent director who bravely sprang into action against fleeing thieves says the experience has given him a new appreciation for police work.
James Gibbs, of Gibbs Gillespie Estate Agents on Chapel Lane, Pinner, was entering the Boots store in Bridge Street on November 25 when he heard a shop assistant scream ‘Stop’.
James explained: “I had just walked through the door when two thieves in big hooded jackets made of strong, hard-to-grip material ran past me with arms full of merchandise.
“In the half-second available, I grabbed the nearest one as they flew out of the entrance, but I found it very difficult to get a grip of his jacket.
“Being the wrong side of 60, I didn’t try to run after them. Then I noticed my hand throbbing. It has turned black and still throbs, but I don’t regret trying to stop them. I am a big chap and must have frightened them; I wish I were 30 years younger.
“It’s at times like this when you realise what our police are up against. The police service is the last line against law and order and should never have been cut so much. It seems to me these types of crimes escalate around Christmas, so everyone needs to be on their guard.”
Dave Howlett, of Waxwell Lane, said: “This was a brazen act of crime. I think what James did was particularly brave considering the brutal and senseless murder of local shopkeeper Ravi Katharkamar back in March. More must be done to protect our village and its people.”