Ipswich/France: Burglar battered by ex-bobby after thieves target his caravan during French holiday

Bob Munn when he was an Inspector with the BTP

Bob Munn when he was an Inspector with the BTP

Burglars in France picked the wrong holidaymaker when they targeted a riot-trained former British Transport Police officer from Suffolk.

The thieves ended up fleeing with one yelping loudly after a blow on the arm from a torque wrench wielded by ex-inspector Bob Munn.

Mr Munn, who lives near Ipswich, was at the scene of many violent disturbances during a 31-year career, including leading a snatch squad during the Bradford riots in 2001.

The 50-year-old was in his caravan when he was awoken in the middle of the night to find two men attempting to break into the vehicle near Orleans.

Mr Munn said: “At around 3am I heard some funny noises. I pulled the curtain back and looked out the window to see two people crouching down.

“The caravan has got an alarm and they were keeping down to stay below the alarm.

“One had opened the door and was leaning in. I grabbed the torque wrench and shouted ‘Get back’. I took a swing and caught him across his arm. There was a loud shriek and then they ran off. I would be surprised if the blow didn’t break his arm.”

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Mr Munn said he only had the wrench beside him because before heading off on holiday to the south of France he had new tyres put on the caravan and was advised to check the wheelnuts each day.

The incident occurred after Mr Munn had made an overnight stop in the parking area of a service station on the A10.

He believed the would-be burglars were professionals who target holidaymakers looking for passports, credit cards and cash.

Credit cards and identification documents in particular are sought after.

There is a thriving black market and plenty of money to be made by gangs providing false passports for people seeking to enter Britain illegally.

Mr Munn retired last year after being awarded a coroner’s citation for his “courageous” actions during the London bombings in 2005.

He was the first uniformed officer to go into the underground tunnel between Aldgate and Liverpool Street on July 7 after terrorist Shehzad Tanweer blew up a tube train.

As the senior officer at the scene he co-ordinated the rescue effort and was the last police officer to leave the tunnel after the survivors were taken to safety.