Woman’s thanks after market traders chase thief
A 72-YEAR-old woman from Loughborough has praised the actions of town market traders after they chased and caught a thief who had made off with her handbag and trolley.
Mrs Eira Waterfield, of Belton Road, said that she was shopping in the Market Place when her trolley - which contained her handbag and purse - was snatched from her side.
She said she was left “shocked and stunned.”
Eira - who goes to the market every weekend - said that she was standing in front of the fruit and veg stall outside of Superdrug in the town, when she felt someone go past her left shoulder and then, when she turned, she saw that her trolley had gone from beside her.
She said: “I just didn’t know what to do, I was shaking and completely stunned.
“I couldn’t believe that there wasn’t any police anywhere, I just wanted to tell a police officer or a warden or someone about what had happened.”
The female thief then sprinted off with Eira’s trolley and handbag and a market trader spotted her and gave chase.
He left his stall and ran after her, managing to grab the bags she had on her shoulder, and he said that they found five other stolen handbags on her.
Market trader Tony Simons, witnessed the event and retrieved Mrs Waterfield’s pink trolley after the thief had pushed it to one side as she ran off.
He said: “I was glad that we managed to get Eira’s bag back, and it was a brilliant show of community spirit.”
Eira added: “It was shocking, and I couldn’t believe what had just happened to me.
“I stood in the middle of the market place and just didn’t know what to do.
“I couldn’t believe it when I found out that someone had managed to catch them.
“I can’t thank the market stall holders enough, they were absolutely amazing.
“They went above and beyond what they had to do, and I honestly can’t thank them enough. People like them make me think that there is some good in the world!”
Eira said that she only found out that the traders had managed to retrieve her trolley and handbag later in the morning after she rang her husband to tell him the bad news.
When she told him about what had happened he already knew.
A market trader had found a contact number for Eira in her handbag and had called it only for her husband to pick up.
Both Eira and Tony say they are concerned about the lack of police in the town centre on market days, and feel that police need more of a visible presence in the town.
Tony said: “We need more police presence in the Market Place.
“Even if there was just an officer on show on a Thursday and a Saturday when the market is busiest it would be a deterrent to thieves and they would think twice about stealing anything.
“It is almost like we have to police the market ourselves!”
Eira said: “We really need to have more police in the town centre on market days.
“Even if it is just an officer or a community warden from the council, we just need more of a presence I couldn’t see anyone.”
A spokesperson from Leicestershire Police told the Echo that it received a report of a woman who had her bag and purse stolen at around 10.20am on Saturday, September 2.
Police reported that the person who stole the bag was approached and that the bag and purse were both retrieved.
According to the police no persons have been arrested but enquiries are ongoing.
When asked about the concerns about a lack of police presence in the Market Place a spokesperson from Leicestershire Police said: “Police officers patrol Loughborough town centre and the market as part of organised patrol plans.
“These patrols are mobile as opposed to static as incidents of crime can be committed in any location at any given time.
“We regularly review the allocation of our resources in order to respond to demand and operational priorities.
“We take the concerns of our local community seriously.
“Members of the public are encouraged to report crimes to us either by calling 101 or 999 if it is an emergency.”
Pictured is Eira Waterfield, 72.