A man has been hailed a “hero of the hour” after tackling a street robber who snatched a pensioner’s £2,500 Christmas fund outside a bank.
Brave Damian Mendyka, 28, chased down the mugger and returned the envelope to the distraught 68-year-old woman – who had just withdrawn the money.
He was out shopping with his partner Agnieszka Perz, 35, when he heard the pensioner scream loudly, shouting ‘he took my money, he took my money’.
Damian and Agnieszka, of Blackburn, Lancs., saw the mugger making off with an envelope and the elderly lady trying to catch up with him.
Agnieszka said: “I told Damien to catch him and he ran after the thief.
“I then went over to help the old lady because I was worried about her safety.”
Within seconds Damian had caught the thief and grabbed the money – returning the envelope to the pensioner following the robbery outside Barclays bank in Blackburn, Lancs., on November 18.
Agnieszka said: “I was worried the thief had a gun or knife in his pocket.
“Damien gave the envelope back to the lady before we even knew how much was inside.
“The lady was still in shock and so we helped her get back to the car and stayed with her until the police came around 20 minutes later.”
Damian said: “I was really happy because I had helped this lady at Christmas time and had saved her money for the holiday season.
“This has never been about wanting a reward.
“We both feel really proud about helping someone who needed it – it’s not about the money.
“It’s about the honour and giving help to the second person.
“You can’t just go on the street and steal from an old lady.”
Lancashire Police said a grey-haired man grabbed the envelope containing the cash as the pensioner was leaving the bank and ran off with it.
Detectives said they were examining CCTV and conducting forensic tests on the envelope as part of investigations into the incident at around 12.25pm on November 18.
The thief, who is described as white with grey hair, was wearing a grey jumper and was seen running towards the Zy Bar on Market Street Lane after being tackled by Mr Mendyka.
Inspector John Fryer hailed the man as the ‘hero of the hour’ for his and brave actions.
Blackburn MP Kate Hollern added: “It’s an amazing story and heart warming to hear stories of people doing the right thing in their community.”