The mother of a tot who helped to catch a thief on April 9 has spoken of how “proud” she is of her “very brave” daughter.
Lisa Ettery was taking her daughter Lydia, four, to a Poundland store to buy some crayons when a man came charging towards their car with a suitcase full of goods.
The man was running away from a nearby TK Maxx shop in Prestatyn, Wales, where he had allegedly stolen a variety of items, including jewelery and perfumes, Lisa said.
Naturally, after seeing the man run towards them and bump into their car, Lydia was left “frightened and upset”, North Wales Live reports.
However, rather than stay at the scene, Lisa decided that she would chase down the man herself in her car, with Lydia alongside her.
Eventually, having driven up Prestatyn High Street, Lisa and Lydia found the man at a nearby estate asking a woman for directions. Lisa said she was unsure what to do at this point but Lydia, who is a pupil at Ysgol Bodnant, suggested they call the police, which is what Lisa did and the man was subsequently arrested following a brief chase.
Speaking about the experience, the 28-year-old said: “We were on our way to Prestatyn Park, we were heading to Poundland to get some crayons so Lydia could do some colouring. On our way in, a man with a suitcase ran into my car and gave Lydia a fright.She was quite upset at the time because she didn’t know what was going on, neither did I.
“At that point, there was a crowd of people gathered by TK Maxx. They told me that the man who ran into our car had stolen a bunch of items in a suitcase, mostly jewelery and perfumes apparently. I was a bit cross so I decided to follow him in the car to see where he was going.
“We went up the high street and couldn’t find him anywhere but then we found him on a nearby estate. That’s when Lydia suggested we call the police to tell them that we’d found him. They hadn’t received a call from the shop at that point so they asked if we could stay on the line.
“The line cut off but we’d seen him speaking to a woman on the Bodnant estate so I went up to her to ask what he had said to her and she said that he was asking for directions for the green bridge by the railway tracks So I called the police back and told them to go there and they eventually caught him.”
She added: “After they had arrested him, they made him apologize to Lydia for frightening her, which he did. Later on that day, they got in touch to thank Lydia for her help. We then went back to TK Maxx to tell the lady at the shop that the man had been found and told Lydia she could come back today to choose a toy of her choice for being such a brave girl.
“As we were there talking to the lady, the police returned to the shop with the suitcase and goods that had been stolen. She was feeling proud of herself and couldn’t wait to tell the lady at the shop that we’d found him She’s really looking forward to choosing her toy today and already has her eye on a few dollies.
North Wales Police said: “We’d like to say a massive ‘Thank You’ to 4-year-old Lydia who acted so brave when she and her mum spotted a man who had a suitcase full of stolen items that had been taken from a shop on the retail park in Prestatyn yesterday afternoon (Saturday).They called the police to tell them where the man was going to, and gave officers directions to his location after he had jumped in front of their car to run away.
“Officers arrived a few minutes later and the man was arrested nearby where the stolen items were retrieved.
“Thank you for being so brave Lydia – you are a superstar and we are all very proud of you.”
Police said a 30-year-old man, of no fixed abode, has since been charged with theft from a shop and will appear before Llandudno Magistrates Court on April 27.
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