Shopper ‘tackles thief trying to escape Co-op with shopping basket’

A shopper tackled a shoplifter to the floor where he held him for 20 minutes after he tried to steal a full basket of shopping he hadn't paid for.

Steve Neale, 37, was walking into the Kirk Sandall branch of Co-op in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, when he spotted the man trying to leave without paying.

He quickly pushed the thief to the ground and sat on him so he couldn't leave.

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"I had just walked into the shop and as the doors opened, I saw the guy and he had hold of the basket," Neale said.

"An elderly lady who works there was wrestling the basket off him and I just thought he was stealing from her.

"I just walked straight in and within two steps, I grabbed hold of him and we were wrestling.

"I threw him to the floor and then I sat on him."

Neale detained the shoplifter for around 15 to 20 minutes while another member of staff called the police.

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"He was wriggling at first but then I told him to stop moving and he did," Neale added.

Meanwhile, Neale's friend Dale Walker, 56, walked into the shop as the incident unfolded and "wasn't surprised" by what he saw.

"I had figured out what had happened straight away," Walker said.

"But it didn't surprise me to be honest because Steve is the kind of guy who would do something like that."

"He detests people who are thieves and robbers and he's always said that."

South Yorkshire Police charged the man and he eventually appeared before a court.

A spokesperson said: "Peter Holmes, 42, has been charged with three counts of theft and appeared at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court on 28 February 2023."

A Co-op spokesperson added: "Our priority is always the safety of our colleagues and customers, and we can confirm the police attended an incident at our Kirk Sandall store last week."

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