Eagle-eyed hotelier snares steak stealer

Gerard Walsh and Lynne Brough chased down and caught a shoplifter who nabbed a bag of steaks from The Co-op on Coronation Street
Gerard Walsh and Lynne Brough chased down and caught a shoplifter who nabbed a bag of steaks from The Co-op on Coronation Street

The stakes were high when one have-a-go hero chased and caught a shoplifter.

Hotelier Gerard Walsh, 49, spotted the brazen thief running from The Co-op on Coronation Street, Blackpool, on Thursday holding a carrier bag full of sirloin steaks.

The dad-of-two, who runs the Tudor Rose hotel opposite the food shop, said: “When people run past my window it always catches my eye. I saw the manager follow him out onto the street so I went out and asked what was going on.”

Gerard, along with a member of Co-op staff, chased the shoplifter down a nearby alleyway, where they found him hiding behind a hotel on Albert Road.

Gerard said: “As I came around the corner I saw him coming out of one of the hotel’s gardens and I shouted at him to stop.

“I grabbed his arm and he put the bag down on the ground and the manager started to take the stuff out.

“There was so much in there - sirloin steaks, rib-eyes, chicken legs, chicken pieces.

“I said ‘wow, you’ve got half the shop in there’.

“That’s my crime fighting done - now I’m back to being a hotelier!”

The thief was escorted back to The Co-op by security guards from Blackpool BID, where he was arrested.

A police spokesman said: “We were called to The Co-op at 2.30pm on Thursday. Somebody had taken six packs of steaks and two packs of chicken thighs. A 35-year-old man was arrested and charged with three counts of theft.”