Ipswich: Have-a-go heroes are praised for tackling knife-wielding mugger

Robber William Chapman, who was jailed for two years.

Robber William Chapman, who was jailed for two years. - Credit: Contributed

Courageous have-a-go heroes who caught a mugger with a knife after he attacked two women within 15 minutes have been praised by police.

William Chapman, of Wherstead Road, Ipswich, was jailed for two years at his Ipswich Crown Court sentencing after admitting robbery and attempted robbery.

Following the 27-year-old’s sentencing Detective Inspector Eamonn Bridger, of Ipswich CID, said: “Chapman targeted two women who were going about their day-to-day business and grabbed their handbags.

“Thanks to the courageous and quick-thinking of a number of members of the public at one of the scenes, two of whom were passing by in a car, Chapman was stopped from making his escape and detained.

“I highly commend these heroic actions as they resulted in the swift arrest of the offender and safe return of the victim’s handbag.”

Chapman struck in the town’s Fletcher Road and Vernon Street before his getaway on a silver bike was foiled by the passers-by.

The first incident occurred at around 1.05pm on September 27 in Fletcher Road.

Most Read

A 47-year-old woman was waiting at a bus stop while on her way to work. Chapman rode his bicycle up to her, produced a penknife, and told her to give him her bag and mobile phone.

The woman managed to push away his arm and hand in which he was holding the knife. She then ran across the road from the bus stop, before jumping over a small garden fence at the home of a friend.

The victim then banged on her friend’s door as Chapman rode off.

However, around 10 minutes later Chapman struck again in Vernon Street.

A 34-year-old woman was walking along carrying a large black handbag only for Chapman to demand she hand it over.

He grabbed the bag, got on his bike and attempted to ride off.

His getaway was foiled after the woman jumped into the road and flagged down a passing car.

As Chapman started to make off the motorist drove after him, mounted the kerb, and stopped the mugger leaving the scene.

Another man who was passing by helped detain Chapman until police arrived, while the motorist’s wife gave the victim her handbag back.

The victim told police she did not see the penknife, but became aware of it when the motorist told her Chapman had it on him.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter