A have-a-go-hero grandad told how he chased down a supermarket shoplifter and dumped him in a FREEZER cabinet until police arrived.
Cool customer Mick Hegney, 53, was doing his weekly shop in Morrisons when he spotted thief Ioan Constatint, 37, snatch a purse from a woman’s handbag.
Without a second thought brave Mick chased the Romanian crook through the aisles of the store in Tamworth, Staffs. as stunned shoppers looked on.
After catching up with Constatint, the quick-thinking dad-of-three instinctively threw him into the waist-high freezer unit and pinned him down on top of the frozen pizzas.
He was held there while staff called police, who arrived 10 minutes later at 12.30pm on Sunday.
Within 24 hours Constatint, from Coventry, West Mids., was behind bars after he pleaded guilty to theft at Burton Magistrates Court.
He was sentenced to eight weeks in jail, with two consecutive weeks for breaching a conditional discharge.
Yesterday heroic Mick, who lives with his wife Jeannette, 52, in Amington, Staffs., said he would do the same thing again.
The production manager said: “I was just doing my weekly shop when I spotted this guy acting a bit suspiciously.
“He caught my eye when he made an elaborate move to let someone past, giving them more room than necessary, which I thought was odd.
“I was standing behind him and watching him as he approached a trolley, unzipped a bag and took out a purse.
“At first I just presumed he was this woman’s husband. But when I saw him slip the purse into his coat, that was it.
“I asked him what he thought he was doing and he tried to give the purse to me.
“I chased him up the aisle, grabbed him by the lapels, pushed him into the freezer container and told him to keep still.
“I did it without thinking really, if I see something that I think is wrong then I will take action.
“It was a case of I’ve got to do something about it, I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I didn’t do it.
“I couldn’t have let him just walk out.”
The purse belonged to a woman from Wales who was visiting family and had called into the supermarket to buy some flowers to put on her daughter’s grave.
Mick added: “She was quite pleased and very grateful.
“She was buying flowers to put on her daughter’s grave and to have her purse stolen would’ve made a bad day even worse.
“I’m pleased to be called a hero but a bit embarrassed. I’m happy that I’ve done the right thing.
“I’d like to think I would always choose the right thing.
“At the time I didn’t think about it at all, I had seen both his hands and I didn’t think about a knife or anything.
“Once he ran, I just chased him.”
Yesterday, Staffordshire Police called Mick’s actions ‘courageous’ and said they had sent him a letter of thanks.
Chief Inspector Ian Coxhead said: “This was a courageous bit of intervention by a member of the public who acted on instinct.
“Thanks to his actions the offender has been speedily bought to justice and has now received a custodial sentence.
“I was delighted to send Mr Hegney a letter thanking him for his actions.”
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