Quickthinking heroes foil thefts

SPUR-of-the-moment crimebusters have jumped into action, to foil thieves in two separate heroic efforts.A pint-sized have-a-go hero from Felixstowe blocked aggressive thieves stealing from a shop, and a crime prevention leader stopped a car thief in his tracks at Needham Market.

SPUR-of-the-moment crimebusters have jumped into action, to foil thieves in two separate heroic efforts.

A pint-sized have-a-go hero from Felixstowe blocked aggressive thieves stealing from a shop, and a crime prevention leader stopped a car thief in his tracks at Needham Market.

Carole Josey, 53, of Langer Road, Felixstowe, barred the two young men from leaving the shop in Colchester after she saw them pinch a £700 camera from behind a counter.

And when the two men scurried off emptyhanded she discovered the camera they had tried to take was the one she had gone to pick up after she had reserved the last one in stock.

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"I'm normally a very quiet person but I get very mad and angry when I see something wrong happening. I didn't feel scared, he didn't touch me or push me," said Carole.

"Watching Crimewatch, seeing people have a go, that is me. I try and do things. I weigh the situation up and act on it."

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Carole, a typist for Customs and Excise in Felixstowe, went shopping with partner Bob Knights, on Saturday to buy a digital camera.

"We went to Colchester to look round and we went to a shop and he liked the camera in there and they said they would hold it for him to check the price," said the 5ft 2ins woman.

After looking around other shops to compare prices, the couple went back to the shop to buy the £700 Fiji digital camera.

Carole told Bob, manager of FACTS the Felixstowe Area Community Transport Scheme, that she was feeling tired and had a headache, so she sat on a seat outside Jessops in Colchester's High Street.

She saw two slim men aged between 18 and 20, enter and look around.

"One of them was fiddling with his shoe, I suspecting he was up to something," she said. "He put his hand behind the counter, I couldn't believe it."

The man had pinched something, which was wrapped in a polythene bag and Carole knew she had to do something because all of the shop assistants were busy and unaware.

"I stood by the door to bar their exit and they came down towards the door and they had their backs to me.

"And I think they knew I was up to something and had heard one of them say 'stay'. I stayed to see what was happening."

The men started to walk towards her and she called to Bob, telling him the men had tried to pinch something.

The men then became aggressive and threatened her. She said they warned her that if she did not get out of their way they would 'nut' her.

While one of the men continued to threaten her, the other man walked over to a table in the middle of the store to hide the camera and conceal his guilt.

The men then left empty-handed and the camera was found shoved in to a crate on the central table.

When Carole told the manager what had happened, he sold them the camera at a discounted price because of her goodwill.

Carole said Bob, had been very impressed: "He said I have solved a major crime, I think he does exaggerate."

Carole had bought the camera because she wanted to capture as many memories as possible of her home, which has been within the family since 1910.

She wants to take pictures of the Langer Road area because it holds so many memories, which could be demolished if the South Sea Front Development plans are given the go-ahead.

Carole met Bob at the nearby Martello tower and her father, Douglas Nordon, who died two years ago, had been an auxiliary coastguard at the station for 35 years.

Meanwhile a thief got more than he bargained for when he came up against one of the county's top crime-busting gurus. Little did the would-be thief realise, as he tried to break into cars parked in a council lot, he was being overlooked by Nigel Smithson.

It only took Nigel a split second to transform from mild-mannered bureaucrat to crime busting superhero.

Mr Smithson, who chairs the West Suffolk Crime and Disorder Reduction Forum, said: "I had watched him reverse into the car park which immediately made me suspicious. We have had incidents in the past of people tampering with staff cars so I was on my guard."

But when the thief broke into one of his colleague' cars, parked in the council offices in Needham Market, Mr Smithson knew he had to act.

"I leapt to my feet and ran towards the car part yelling "Follow me" to one of my colleagues. I'm on the first floor but quite a long way away but I got there in two minutes."

By the time Mr Smithson was on the scene, the would-be thief was sitting in the passenger seat of a parked car.

When he attempted to do a runner, eagle-eyed Mr Smithson ran to the thief's car and grabbed his keys while his colleague called the police.

Demonstrating the effectiveness of the crime prevention advice, not to leave your keys in the car.

Today Mr Smithson's colleagues were proud of their fearless crimebuster.

Colleague Rebecca Scrase said: "It was quite dramatic. It takes a bit of nous to take someone like that on. Mind you, if you saw Nigel, you wouldn't mess with him."

But the modest hero of the day denied he would be nominating himself for a Crimestoppers award.

He told the Evening Star: "It's all just part of my job."

Police said a 31-year-old man was due to appear at St Edmundsbury Magistrates Court on August 5, charged with attempted theft.

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