Simon Cremer, who owns a carpet fitting firm, discovered that one of his workers, a sub-contractor, had stolen one of his cheques, forged his signature and duly taken £845 from his bank account.
None too pleased, more so in the current economic climate, Mr Cremer and several of his staff apprehended the thief when he turned up at the office, bundled him into a van and then marched him down the street to the police station. The thief, Mark Gilbert, had a placard hung around his neck which read:
THIEF. I STOLE £845. AM ON MY WAY TO POLICE STATION. A bit reminiscent of the medieval ‘name and shame’ form of justice, and why not.
And the result of what Mr Cremer and his workers believed to be a citizen’s arrest of a criminal?
The thief is let off with a ‘caution’ and Mr Cremer and his three staff were arrested and now face charges of ‘false imprisonment’, an offence which carries a maximum life term!
Even the thief, Mark Gilbert, was apparently somewhat surprised by events, commenting: ‘ I’m the criminal here’.
It’s not all bad news, though, as the Essex police will be able to register four ‘detections’ rather than just one. Could make all the difference at the end of the season.