Suspected muggers chased by man recovering from hip op and another in wellies after purse snatch

A suspected thief was caught following a street mugging – by a group including one man who made chase in Wellington boots and another recovering from a hip replacement.

Thursday, 10th December 2020, 3:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th December 2020, 5:33 pm

The drama unfolded in Durham yesterday, Wednesday, December 9, at around 2pm on Atherton Street, off Allergate, as City of Durham Parish Council was on a walkabout of the area with residents and Durham County Council officers.

A young lady – believed to be a Durham resident – immediately began screaming, which alerted the Parish Clerk Adam Shanley, Neighbourhood Warden Paul Rutherford and resident Mike Costello to what was taking place.

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The incident happened on Atherton Street in Durham. Image copyright Google Maps.

All three men ran after the suspects in order to perform a citizen’s arrest.

At the time, the clerk was wearing wellies while Mr Costello has recently recovered from a hip replacement operation.

One of the men was caught and subsequently arrested by the police whilst the other suspected accomplice escaped but is thought to have been caught on camera.

Durham Constabulary have confirmed that a Blackhall Colliery man has been charged with theft in connection to the incident.

A spokesperson said: “We were called to reports of a theft near Durham Bus Station. Officers attended the scene and swiftly arrested a 35-year-old man on suspicion of theft.

“He has since been interviewed by officers and charged with one count of theft. He was released on bail to attend Peterlee Magistrates’ Court on December 21.”

The parish council said the purse was able to be returned to the woman.

Resident Janet George, who was present when the incident took place, said: “It was a wonderful act of citizenship and heroism.

"We are extremely lucky in Durham City as we have many good people happy to help others.

"Our Parish Clerk, Mike and our neighbourhood warden Paul are nothing short of local heroes.”

Mr Costello added: “Our intimate local knowledge allowed us to chase him and cut off possible escape routes to detain him and identify a possible accomplice.

"Soon in custody after prompt response by police officers.”

Mr Shanley said the warden and police had been “superb” as they offered their help and added: “Durham City is a wonderful place filled with many people who would have done exactly the same.

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