Store worker spear-tack­les and ‘cuffs’ thief

The Dominion Post - - News - PHILLIPA YALDEN

De­ter­mi­na­tion fu­elled Jay Slikas to spear-tackle a knife-wield­ing thief and hold him down un­til po­lice ar­rived at a Coro­man­del ferry pier.

The Cooks Beach lo­cal tracked the jan­dal-wear­ing rob­ber af­ter he pulled a knife and threat­ened to kill Slikas’ friend, who was man­ning the lo­cal store on Satur­day. Po­lice are now con­sid­er­ing Slikas for a brav­ery award, de­scrib­ing his ac­tions as out­stand­ing.

Jeanie Maybe was work­ing alone at the store when the ‘‘odd look­ing’’ man in jan­dals en­tered about 1.15pm.

Af­ter loi­ter­ing for a few min­utes he ap­proached the counter. ‘‘He came up with packs of meat, chops and ba­con, and pulled his knife out.’’

The slim-built 24-year-old then or­dered her to ‘‘empty the till’’. Wield­ing an es­ti­mated 8-inch flick knife, he also de­manded she empty the cigarette cabi­net.

He threat­ened to come back and kill her if she told any­one of the theft.

Se­nior Sergeant Pete Simp­son said the thief had bro­ken into a bach owned by ex­tended fam­ily and stashed the stolen meat in the freezer be­fore hitch­hik­ing to a nearby ferry.

In the mean­time, Slikas, who was work­ing in the liquor store, re­alised Maybe was miss­ing and phoned to check on her. She de­scribed the of­fender, who Slikas recog­nised as a ‘‘big slothy char­ac­ter’’ he’d seen ear­lier. So Slikas and an­other cus­tomer jumped in a car and went in search of the cul­prit. They found him about 7km away at Ferry Land­ing, at­tempt­ing to sell cig­a­rettes to a group of six or seven teens.

‘‘I had a talk to him, he got a bit ag­gres­sive so I fooled him into thinking the po­lice were be­hind.

‘‘When he wasn’t look­ing I grabbed him, lifted him into the air and speartack­led him into the ground.’’

Us­ing his 110kg weight, Slikas and his friend ‘‘hand­cuffed’’ him un­til po­lice ar­rived about 20 min­utes later.

Jay Slikas

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