WISBECH: Exasperated locksmith takes shoplifter to police station after making four 999 calls
EXASPERATED locksmith Mark Ward waited two hours and made four 999 calls before deciding to take a Russian he caught shoplifting to Wisbech Police Station in the back of his van. Mr Ward caught the foreign worker stealing a £6 pair of pliers from his Chur
EXASPERATED locksmith Mark Ward waited two hours and made four 999 calls before deciding to take a Russian he caught shoplifting to Wisbech Police Station in the back of his van.
Mr Ward caught the foreign worker stealing a £6 pair of pliers from his Church Terrace shop but by 3pm - two hours after he caught the man- "we had had enough of the situation."
Mr Ward said: "We decided to deliver the man and his bike to the police station ourselves. The officer who greeted us told us that he had only just heard about the situation."
Raimonds Ludbarz, 39 of Artillery Street, has since appeared before Fenland magistrates and admitted stealing the pliers on October 28.
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Sentencing was adjourned until November 29 for a pre-sentence report, with all options open, including a possible custodial sentence. He was given unconditional bail.
Meanwhile Mr Ward has received an apology from police who admitted "an error of judgement was made whilst prioritising several incidents at once."
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Police said Mr Ward has since met an inspector who explained what happened and "we can only apologise for the circumstances."
Mr Ward said he was amazed to be kept waiting for so long even though after his second call he had been assured the theft was a "high priority" and he was even given a crime number.,
"It was only a week before we attended a special meeting to inform shopkeepers about the increase of shoplifters in the town," he said. "If there are no police to arrest them why are we bothering to try to apprehend them?"
The theft was spotted by Mr Ward's assistant, Mario Sitek, who saw Ludbarz slip the pliers into his pocket and chased him down the road.
He frog marched him back to the shop and made him sit on a stool while Mr Ward and other staff members took turns to stand over him, guard the door and serve customers.
"Where I come from the police would only take 15 minutes to come," said Mr Sitek, who is originally from Poland.