Store worker spear-tackles and ‘cuffs’ thief
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.