An Adur councillor has turned local hero after helping to thwart a shoplifter in Lancing.
Andy McGregor, vice chairman of Adur District Council, helped catch the would-be thief at the Co-op in North Road last Wednesday (January 22) after spotting him stuffing stock into his jacket.
After watching him ride his bicycle into the store and prop it against the checkout, Andy said he felt compelled to stay to protect the lone cashier.
“The checkout lady was quite agitated and got on the radio to alert security,” he said, adding the thief had a flashing bike light attached to his belt.
“I was concerned for her safety so I hung around outside and watched this guy through the window. With the red flashing light he was easy to spot! I saw him walk down the medicines aisle taking boxes off the shelves and putting them down his jacket. He then paid for some beers at the checkout.”
After convincing a passing boxing trainer not to hand out vigilante justice, Andy said he flagged down a passing police car which stopped to allow officers to arrest the man.
Police emailed Andy to say they had agreed a ‘community resolution’ with the store as the stolen goods only amounted to £10. He was banned from the store for three months, police said.
Andy praised the police response, but warned a stronger presence was needed to deter anti-social behaviour in the village.
He said gangs of young people were affecting the nighttime economy by intimidating residents and ‘thinking they are above the law’.
Two police community support officers had recently been appointed with two more on the way, he said, which he expected to make a positive difference.
He said: “It’s not got out of hand, it’s been taken in hand. But people must report things to the police, as it adds to the crime statistics so the police know to focus on the area."