Spalding shopper nabs thief with his one good arm

Have a go hero: Wayne Tyrrell went after a shoplifter who took clothes from Peacocks in Spalding. Photo: SG160211-333NG
Have a go hero: Wayne Tyrrell went after a shoplifter who took clothes from Peacocks in Spalding. Photo: SG160211-333NG

DESPITE only having the use of one arm, a shopper went after a thief in Spalding town centre and stopped him getting away with a haul of clothes.

Wayne Tyrrell says he was “disgusted” by the response from police, who said they were too busy to attend and that the town’s CCTV surveillance cameras were were not being monitored at that time.

Yet rather than just accept the situation, Mr Tyrrell – a security guard who has just had a shoulder replacement operation and only has the use of his left arm – has vowed to help the police with crime-fighting.

He is off work for six weeks and has offered to watch the CCTV cameras while he recovers from his operation.

The 38-year-old security guard, who lives in Spalding, spotted a man making off with clothes from Peacocks in Market Place at about 1pm on Wednesday.

He went in to tell the store about the theft and the staff called the police – who reportedly said they had no officers available and had no one monitoring the CCTV.

Not satisfied, Mr Tyrrell followed the shoplifter and saw him pass the goods on to an accomplice in Red Lion Street.

Mr Tyrrell approached the man from behind, tapped him on the shoulder and snatched the bag.

He then returned the goods to the store.

Mr Tyrrell said: “It’s wrong and we shouldn’t just let them get away with stealing. They’re going to know they can just do it time after time.

“I told the police I could point them out – they were just walking around town afterwards.

“Their response made me wonder why I bothered.

“This probably happens every day but Spalding is a dying town with shops closing and it doesn’t help does it?”

Mr Tyrrell is due to go into the police station to try to identify the offenders from photographs. However, that may not happen for two weeks.

He said he was “disgusted” with the response from the police.

Inspector Paul Timmins, of Spalding Police, said the incident was called in at 1.02pm, which they say was about 20 minutes after the theft occurred. A car had been allocated by 1.13pm and officers arrived five or six minutes later.

Insp Timmins said: “Unfortunately we had three or four jobs within a ten-minute period.

“It was a good, brave action from the gentleman involved and I thank him for that.

“Unfortunately we weren’t able to get there quicker than we did.”

Insp Timmins confirmed that the CCTV cameras were not being monitored at the time. He is currently searching for volunteers who can help increase the coverage so that they are being watched 24 hours a day.