Hero teen catches burglar red-handed and chases him into river


A teenager was hailed a hero after he caught a burglar red-handed and chased him out of his house into a river.

Luke Franklin, 17, was stunned to see crook Peter Gaughan, 25, stealing electricals from his house on Monday afternoon.

But Brave Luke squared up to the serial burglar and chased him over five garden fences and across a railway track.

Police caught Gaughan several minutes later cowering on the banks of the River Thames in Kennington, Oxon.

Luke, who is studying A-levels at college, said: ”I didn’t even think about it. I was running through the gardens trying to get him.

”He’d tried to steal my possessions and there was no way that I was going to let him get away with it.

”My legs are cut to bits from the barb wire and brambles I had to run through but that’s not important. I’m just glad that he’s been caught.”

Gaughan forced his way in to the house on Monday afternoon and confronted Luke’s mum Sandy Franklin, 44.

Sandy, who was in her dressing gown, shrieked: ”What the hell are you doing in my house?”

But the burglar stole the keys to Luke’s Honda Civic which was parked on the drive and started the engine.

He was trying to leave the house with the family poodle Mitzy, a 42in television, a new laptop and other electrical when Luke arrived back on his moped.

Luke, a keen footballer and runner, shouted at the burglar who fled back through the house and into the garden.

But Luke hurdled five sets of fences in pursuit of Gaughan who then dashed across a railway track.

Police arrived moment later and found him on the mud banks of the river as he tried to swim across.

Gaughan has since admitted two burglary charges at Oxford Magistrates’ Court and been remanded in custody to be sentenced later this month.

Luke’s mum Sandy said: ”Luke was brilliant – he wasn’t afraid at all. When I think about it now, the burglar could have had a knife for all we knew.

”Luke just wanted to wrestle him to the floor. He’s definitely my hero and I feel so proud of him

” I was so angry at first. The thought the thief had been in our bedrooms freaks me, and to lose Mitzy would have shattered the whole family.

”Thankfully it’s all over now and the burglar’s behind bars where he belongs.”

Chief Inspector Andy Boyd, of Thames Valley Police, said: “This is a great result, thanks to the bravery of a 17-year-old.”


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