The have-a go-heroes who foiled brazen thieves who allegedly loaded a car with stolen goods are ‘crime fighters’ who tackled the shoplifters while on their lunch break.
A team from TM-Eye, a private investigating force of former police detectives, said they waited more than half an hour for police to arrive after they took down the thieves.
Dramatic footage captured the moment the gang was tackled as they ‘tried to make off with electrical goods worth more than £3,000’.
The men were seen throwing items in a shopping trolley into a car in a Tesco car park in Waltham Abbey, Essex.
In the video, which was filmed yesterday, three men, who were allegedly shoplifting, quickly jump into their black BMW as another group run towards the vehicle.
A team from TM-Eye, a private investigating force of former police detectives, said they waited more than half an hour for police to arrive after they took down the alleged thieves (File photo)
Dramatic footage captured the moment the men were tackled as they ‘tried to make off with electrical goods worth more than £3,000’
The have-a-go heroes were able to capture two of the alleged shoplifters
The video shows the alleged shoplifters loading a black VW Golf with goods seemingly shoplifted from the store
Police arrived on the scene later and arrested two of the men, aged 17 and 27, on suspicion of theft
Luckily, a group of have-a-go heroes seemed to intervene and stop the daylight robbery
A security guard (pictured) can be seen trying to open the boot of the car to get to the allegedly stolen goods
As they try to drive away, the men who surrounded the car manage to open the door and try to drag the alleged thieves out.
A security guard can also be seen attempting to open the boot and shocked witnesses are heard saying ‘call the police’.
Then a struggle ensues as the apparent shoplifters are forced to the ground and restrained by the have-a-go heroes.
One of the alleged thieves tries to headbutt one of the men and ends up falling on the ground.
Some of the vigilantes can be heard screaming ‘stop resisting’ as they try to restrain the alleged crooks.
An old man and his dog even get involved in the scuffle, trying his best to thwart the attempted robbery.
Police arrived on the scene later and arrested two of the men, aged 17 and 27, on suspicion of theft.
They have been released on conditional bail and have been banned from the Tesco store.
They had reportedly stolen £4,000 worth of goods from another Tesco in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, hours earlier.
Detective Chief Inspector Alan Blakesley, of the Local Policing Area, said: ‘We’re acutely aware of the impact theft has on our businesses and we work extremely hard, first and foremost, to respond to incidents when they happen and make arrests and, secondly, to ensure businesses are supported by our dedicated business crime team when they feel they would benefit from that independent advice.
One of the alleged thieves tries to headbutt a men and ends up falling on the ground
The alleged thieves were dragged from the car to stop them from driving away with the loot
‘In this case, officers from our community policing team arrived quickly to make arrests and we thank all members of the public who reported the incident to us.’
Essex Police said in a statement: ‘Two people were arrested by officers responding to reports of a high-value shoplifting incident at Tesco at Sewardstone Road, in Waltham Abbey.
‘The incident was reported to us shortly after 12.30pm yesterday, Monday, October 2.
‘The pair – both males – aged 17 and 27, were arrested and questioned on suspicion of theft. They had been detained prior to officers’ arrival.
‘They have been released on conditional bail whilst our enquiries continue. They must not enter Tesco, in Sewardstone Road, Waltham Abbey, for any reason.’
The heroic team’s CEO David McKelvey told The Sun his crew ‘saw what was happening and had just done the training so they intervened and detained two of the suspects.’
He added: ‘The third suspect managed to get away. It was just a case of the right place, right time for our team. It was just happening directly in front of them. This isn’t even an area that we police.’
The raid comes amid a rising epidemic of shoplifting across the UK.
Asda chairman Lord Stuart Rose even went so far as to say that shoplifting has become ‘decriminalised’ thanks to the lack of police action.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said this summer shoplifting had risen 27 per cent across ten of the largest cities in the UK, with some cities up as much as 68 per cent.
People can be heard shouting ‘stop resisting’ as they try to restrain the thieves on the ground
It estimates that shops lost £953million to customer theft last year – the greatest loss on record in recent years.
And official statistics published by the Office for National Statistics show that shoplifting rose 24 per cent between March 2022 and March 2023.
Waitrose has revealed organised gangs are targeting stores along Tube routes, while Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Aldi are searching shoppers using self-service tills amid a rise in thefts.
Co-op has also resorted to removing chocolates from their boxes and displaying empty packets in a bid to stop shoplifters.
Helen Dickinson, the chief executive of the BRC, which helped in organising the letter to the Home Secretary, said: ‘It is vital that action is taken before the scourge of retail crime gets any worse. We are seeing organised gangs threatening staff with weapons and emptying stores.
‘We are seeing violence against colleagues who are doing their job and asking for age verification. We are seeing a torrent of abuse aimed at hard-working shop staff.
‘It’s simply unacceptable – no one should have to go to work fearing for their safety.
‘We need Government to stand with the millions of retail workers who kept us safe and fed during the pandemic – and support them, as those workers supported us.’
The rise in shoplifting and assaults on staff has forced many large retailers to take drastic action.
Tesco’s managing director Ken Murphy said last month that all the supermarket chain’s frontline workers will be offered body cameras following a surge in violent attacks. He said more than 200 of its staff are victims of serious physical assaults each month.
One shocking video showed a thug lunging at a Tesco worker with a knife after a supermarket worker bravely wrestled stolen goods off him. The attacker, Josh James, was jailed for eight years following a six-month crime spree.