Heroic of­fi­cer ar­rests four bur­glars

PC catches them in the act at am­bu­lance sta­tion

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - by Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A HEROIC Hilling­don po­lice of­fi­cer caught four bur­glars in the act and ar­rested them all by him­self, with just one pair of hand­cuffs.

PC Andy Hine, of the Hilling­don bur­glary squad, was out on his pa­trols alone on Thurs­day May 19 when he no­ticed some­thing amiss at the Lon­don Am­bu­lance Ser­vice sta­tion, in Pin­ner Road, North­wood.

He said: “I saw some of the staff stand­ing out­side, which is not nor­mal.

“I was flagged down by one of them, and he said he’d just called po­lice be­cause all the win­dows had been smashed and he thought that peo­ple might be in­side.

“So I stopped im­me­di­ately, got out the car and called on my ra­dio for back up, as I was on my own.

“As I did that, seven males ran out of the build­ing – they saw me at the front so they ran down the side al­ley­way.

“I ran af­ter them and they ran be­hind the build­ing to the far cor­ner, where they were go­ing to climb over the fence and out of the grounds.”

Be­ing vastly out­num­bered, the 49-year-old cop thought he’d try his luck at catch­ing one of the bur­glars, and was suc­cess­ful.

He con­tin­ued: “My thought was, I’m on my own, I’ll try and grab one of them.

“Be­cause they could only climb over at one point and couldn’t climb to­gether, I man­aged to grab one and hand­cuff him quickly. That gave me the op­por­tu­nity to grab an­other one, all the while shout­ing: ‘Stop running’.

“Three of them man­aged to climb over the fence and I’d man­aged to stop two more, so I had four on the my side of the fence.

“I told them they’d make the whole sit­u­a­tion worse if they tried to run off – bear in mind, we only have one set of hand­cuffs on us at any time, so I was only able to hand­cuff one of them.

“At any time, they could have run or they could have as­saulted me.”

PC Hine called for other of­fi­cers to come quickly as he was de­tain­ing four men, aged b be­tween 17 and 20, and ar­rested them all for b bur­glary.

The de­tained bur­glars t turned out to be obe­di­ent con­sid­er­ing there were four against one.

PC Hine said: “I told them to sit down and keep their hands out in front w where I could see them, and I said there would be t trou­ble if any­body m moved.

“I lit­er­ally just kept shout­ing at them. They all did what they were told!

“Need­less to say they were in­side the build­ing so they had com­mit­ted a crime. I wasn’t go­ing to let them get away.

“De­tain­ing one of them was my plan, four was a bonus. Walk­ing away from it un­in­jured was an even big­ger bonus.

“When I was de­tain­ing the four, one of the other bur­glars ac­tu­ally came back, and from a dis­tance, shouted: ‘Run! He’s on his own!

“I just said to them: ‘Try it’.”

Ten min­utes later, col­leagues joined PC Hine and all four were then hand­cuffed.

He de­scribes the over­all sce­nario as a ‘dif­fi­cult’ sit­u­a­tion as he wasn’t able to search any of the bur­glars, who could have been armed.

He said: “I was try­ing to watch all four closely. One, for any signs of es­cape, two, for weapons, and three, if they were try­ing to dis­card any­thing they had stolen.

“I had to be wary of what was go­ing on, had to keep com­mand of the sit­u­a­tion and keep calm, in the knowl­edge that if they wanted to at­tack me, they could.”

Sadly, what the crooks did not re­alise, was that by break­ing into an am­bu­lance sta­tion, two am­bu­lances were kept off the road for a few hours that day.

PC Hine said: “The build­ing was no longer se­cure, and they can’t just leave the build­ing, be­cause there’s equip­ment that the am­bu­lance ser­vice use.

“We also had to get de­tails from the am­bu­lance crew about what had hap­pened prior to po­lice ar­rival.

“The big­ger con­se­quences of these peo­ple al­legedly break­ing into the build­ing is stop­ping our emer­gency col­leagues po­ten­tially sav­ing lives.”

The Uxbridge-based of­fi­cer’s ad­vice to bur­glars is sim­ply not to bother in the first place, as the Hilling­don bur­glary squad will catch them even­tu­ally.

He added: “If only they could meet some of the vic­tims of bur­glar­ies.

“They might re­alise the ef­fect it has on peo­ple – it’s a hor­ri­ble thing to be bur­gled and lose pos­ses­sions that you’ve worked hard for, and these peo­ple should not feel that they have the right to break into peo­ple’s houses and take things and put suf­fer­ing on peo­ple.

“Peo­ple have sleep­less nights af­ter and some peo­ple never re­cover – that’s why I’m not go­ing to let peo­ple run off in front of my eyes and do noth­ing.”

n SIN­GLE-HANDED: PC Andy Hine

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