Woman’s thanks af­ter mar­ket traders chase thief

Loughborough Echo - - FRONT PAGE - By Liam Cole­man liam.cole­man@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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.

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