Oneil Welch, 38, tried to walk out of a branch of Asda carrying a stolen TV – but after a guard nearly stopped his escape, he accidentally left a unique calling card at the scene
Image: Cambridgeshire Police)
A robber has been compared to “Cinderella” after he left a shoe behind at the scene of an attempted violent theft.
Oneil Welch, 38, had tried to walk out of an Asda store in Peterborough carrying a 32” TV without paying at around 8pm on September 17, 2021.
But in his efforts to escape, his shoe came off and was left behind at the scene, Cambridgeshire Live reports.
Welch and a security guard both fell to the ground after the guard attempted to stop the attempted theft.
But Welch punched him in the face and escaped – not before leaving behind his right shoe behind.
Detective Constable Pete Wise, who investigated the case, said: “Oneil did a great Cinderella impression as he left his right shoe at the scene of the crime.”
Thankfully, CCTV captured his offenses and officers were able to identify him and swiftly arrest him.”
After fleeing the shop, Welch appeared barefoot out of the bushes behind Asda and attacked a member of the public.
The man was walking to meet his brother when Welch emerged, grabbed him by the throat and threatened him until handed over his phone and £50 in cash.
Police received reports that a member of the public had been robbed by a barefoot man and were able to immediately identify Welch based on CCTV footage from Asda.
He pleaded guilty to robbery, theft from a shop and common assault at Cambridge Crown Court this week.
Welch was sentenced to nine months in prison.
Detective Constable Wise added: “Oneil was prepared to go to great lengths to get what he wanted that night, including hurting and threatening innocent people. I’m glad justice has been done.
“The story has echoes of the original ‘Barefoot Bandit’ Colton Harris-Moore – the American who, according to the Daily Mail, was sentenced to 67 state and federal crimes including airplane theft, and break-ins – a number of them while barefoot .
“Reports said Harris-Moore started leaving sketches of a footprint at the scenes of his crimes, and requested to end his probation early to travel the world as a public speaker.
“The request was denied, and his lawyer Colleen Hartl said he is trying to move beyond the ‘Barefoot’ nickname.
She reportedly told the court: “The ‘Barefoot Bandit’ has not been his identity or reality for over 10 years…The ‘Barefoot Bandit’ is gone.”
Last year, Harris-Moore’s story took another turn when he tried to get members of the public to donate money to get his mother frozen after her death so that she could be thawed and cured of her lung cancer in the future when a cure is found. .
And in Kuwait yesterday, police announced their search for another case of barefooted theft which even saw the culprits escape wearing pairs of shoes from the house they burgled.
Gulf News reports that three young men walked barefoot into a man’s house and emerged wearing brand new shoes.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.