Customer tackles Leeds jewellery thief

Mark Francis.
Mark Francis.
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WHEN a thief snatched a valuable gold chain from a shop assistant, customer Mark Francis was determined the man would not get away.

Mark had been suspicious when the man had asked the assistant to show him the chain in the window at the store on York Road, Killingbeck, Leeds.

So he was not totally surprised when the other man suddenly grabbed the chain and fled out of the door.

Mark, 24, turned to follow and saw the man run towards Lyme Chase. Mark and three assistants from the shop began to chase him.

“I realised he was quite fast on his feet and was not going to stop, so I jumped in my car where my partner Linsay Honey was. We edged on to the road. I saw the guy jump into a Ford Ka driven by a woman and there was another man inside.”

“The Ka went back on to York Road heading towards Leeds and I followed. At one point it mounted the central reservation and went onto the wrong side of the road when they saw me following,” said Mark. “Then it came back onto the right side of the road.”

“I was not going to let the guy get away with it. I know the manager at the shop and I just thought why should he get away with it,” said Mark. “I knew the assistants had not seen him getting in the Ka.”

He continued to chase the car down York Road towards Leeds while Linsay was on the phone to the police giving them a blow by blow account of the pursuit, said Mark.

Eventually as the Ka entered York Road, Mark was able to overtake the car and get ahead of it as it made to pull off on to slip road to Vicar Lane.

“I blocked one lane with my car and stood in the middle of the road with my hand up.

“The car was going to run me over and I jumped out of the way, but we had seen a police van coming earlier with its lights flashing and it managed to pull alongside the car and stop it blocking its doors so the occupants could not get out,” said Mark.

“The police were ecstatic with what we had managed to do,”.

A police spokeswoman said that officers had been alerted to a report of a man stealing a chain from Cash Converters on York Road,Leeds, at 12.50pm on Thursday, A suspect vehicle was sighted on York Road and after it was stopped two men and a woman had been arrested on suspicion of theft. They were being questioned.

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