Postwoman foiled shoplifter

AN heroic postwoman who restrained a crook until police arrived has been recognised at an awards ceremony.Helen Brooks had just finished her round when she saw the manager of an Ipswich sports shop chasing an 18-year-old man near to the town's King Street.

AN heroic postwoman who restrained a crook until police arrived has been recognised at an awards ceremony.

Helen Brooks had just finished her round when she saw the manager of an Ipswich sports shop chasing an 18-year-old man near to the town's King Street.

After realising he was thief on the run, the 41-year-old, of Firmin Close, Ipswich, peddled after him and eventually managed to wrestle him to the floor.

Yesterday, after receiving a Chief Constable's commendation for her actions, she recalled the incident, which happened at about 1pm on June 5 last year.

She said: “I happened to hear this guy yelling at this youngster to stop so I decided to chase him on my bike.

“As we got round the corner, I clipped him with my front wheel. His shoe came off so I picked it up and threw it at him.

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“Then I chucked my bike on the floor and me and the store manager wrestled him to the ground. I managed to hold him down while kneeling on his thighs. I gave him a right mouthful at the same time.”

She later discovered the man was carrying a fish knife and had stolen a £35 t-shirt from JD Sports, in Tavern Street. He was given community service and a 12-month supervision order when he appeared in court.

Yesterday, after receiving her award at a Suffolk police ceremony, she said: “I didn't expect it and to get something like this is brilliant. I was gobsmacked that I was even considered.”

The team who cracked a series of post office and cash machine raids throughout East Anglia, under the codename Operation Arctic, were also recognised yesterday after securing a series of convictions.

Detective Chief Inspector George Barr, who led the joint probe, said: “It was a fantastic result for us and it's nice to be recognised.

“It was the culmination of a lot of hard work by officers from four counties working together for the first time.”

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