A pensioner has thanked the have-a-go heroes who chased down thieves after they tried to steal hundreds of pounds on her bank card.
Bridget Whelan was the victim of a distraction theft while she was shopping at Morrisons in Leyland on Friday afternoon.
In an unlikely chain of events, she and daughter Seanna Whelan caught the culprits drawing out £290 from a cash machine in the town centre minutes later, using Bridget’s bank card, and they were then helped by three passers-by who ran after the couple.
They found the pair hiding under a car in a car park, and cornered them just as a policeman was in the area.
The couple were arrested, and Bridget got back her money and bank card.
Bridget, a 65-year-old grandma from Broadfield Drive, was sitting in her car on Morrisons car park when a man and a woman approached her before she had chance to shut the door.
“They were waving a £10 note at me, saying I’d dropped it,” she said.
“I told them it wasn’t mine, but my purse was on my lap and the man just put the money in my purse.
“I realised straight away he’d taken my bank card as he did it, but it was all so fast, and they were gone.
“By the time Seanna got back to the car, I didn’t know where they were.
“We drove straight to the Halifax on Hough Lane to cancel my card, and we saw them trying to draw out some money from the cash machine.
“Never in a million years did I expect to see them again.”
Seanna confronted them, saying ‘that’s my mum’s card’, and before the couple had chance to grab the £290 they had just drawn out, they ran off empty-handed.
Coincidently, Seanna’s cousin George Forshaw was in the area. She shouted at him to make chase and he and friend Scott McCaughery, a 26-year-old Waitrose worker from Bristol Avenue, started running after the pair down Quin Street.
Window cleaner Sean Price also saw the commotion, and ran down Herbert Street to block them off.
He grew up in the area, so knew the layout of the roads well.
They found the couple hiding under a car in Greenwood Court, off Herbert Street, and PC Paul Connell was making a visit to the nursing home there, so was able to arrest the pair.
Bridget said: “I can’t thank Sean, George and Scott enough for what they did. I felt so stupid about what happened and I couldn’t sleep all weekend thinking about it. It’s knocked me for six.
“I’ve always been embarrassed to cover my PIN number up but they must have seen me in Morrisons.
“That’s what upset me most, that they were watching me and targeted me.
“I’ll always make sure to cover my PIN up in future.”
George, 21, a student from Seven Stars Road, said: “I didn’t think twice about running after them; I would have done it even if it wasn’t family. I’m just glad we caught them.”
Sean, 40, from Albert Road, added: “You’ve got to help, you can’t just stand back and watch.”
Seanna, 36, from Leadale Road, said: “You never expect this to happen to your family, and we’re so grateful for their help.”
- A 24-year-old woman and a 37-year-old man were charged with theft and are due to appear in court this week.