- From: Oz <Oz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2005 09:41:02 +0100
The london times
September 08, 2005
Wheelbarrow thief is caught in 2mph chase
By Simon de Bruxelles
WHEN Chris Lees, a 48-year-old farmer, arrived home from milking his
cows to find that his house had been ransacked and that his teenage
children were hiding in the bathroom, he set off in pursuit.
Three miles up the road he came across Jethro Smith, who was pushing a
wheelbarrow loaded with Mr Lees’s belongings. Before he could confront
the thief, Smith, 23, asked him for a lift to Exeter.
Because he had his son and daughter, aged 15 and 18, in the car, Mr Lees
decided that discretion was the better part of valour and followed from
a safe distance. The police had told him that it would be “some time”
before they could get there.
By the time a patrol car did arrive, Smith had managed to push the
barrow a further five miles in pouring rain with Mr Lees in low-speed
pursuit. He denied having anything to do with the contents of the
wheelbarrow. But Smith pleaded guilty at Exeter Crown Court to burglary
and yesterday was given a two-year community supervision order.
Mr Lees, from Nadderwater, in Devon, said: “My neighbour ran over to me
and told me that someone was in my house. I ran 200 yards back from the
parlour and I saw that the front door had been smashed open.
“There was glass all over the floor and the door was wrecked. My two
children had locked themselves in the bathroom upstairs because they
thought the man was still inside . . . He must be the stupidest villain
Mr Lees said that he was disappointed with the response time of Devon
and Cornwall Police. He said: “I rang them half a dozen times as we were
following him down the road. The police told us to keep following him at
a distance and promised that someone would come out and help, but two
hours passed before anyone came.”
A Devon and Cornwall Constabulary spokesman said: “We were not told that
the incident involved a burglary. We actually had reports of a male
acting suspiciously with a wheelbarrow outside a domestic property.
“The local officers were unable to attend immediately because they were
involved in a serious case elsewhere. We then received another call
saying that a door had been broken down and we dispatched a unit to the
address to deal with the incident.
“The helicopter was unable to attend because of the bad weather.”
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- Re: Thievery
- From: Howard Neil
- Re: Thievery