Plucky Blackpool hotelier uses Google to catch burglar
A resort couple have told how they collared a thief who raided their hotel for an expensive camera and smartphone by tracking him down using Google.
Grandparents-of-three Doug and Mandy Smith traced the man who burgled the seafront Canasta Hotel before performing a citizen’s arrest on Tuesday.
The pair traced the crook to Raikes Parade after they logged into Doug’s stolen mobile using the tech giant’s ‘find your phone’ feature.
They could see the LG mobile moving from room to room at a house from a digital map on their PC, and drove there after calling police.
“We parked outside the house where the phone was and Mandy shouted, ‘I’m going in,” Doug, 58, said.
Mandy, who had chased the raider away from the hotel at around 6.30am, ran towards the door when she saw him walking down the street.
The 57-year-old said: “I was sprinting down the road to try and get ahead of him and when I was sure it was him, I grabbed both his arms and pushed him against the wall.
“He said in an extremely soft voice, ‘What are you doing to me? What have I done?’ It was quite an exciting morning.”
Police officers carrying out door-to-door enquiries further down the street ran outside after hearing the commotion.
Lancashire Police confirmed a man had been arrested on suspicion of burglary. Looking back I was probably a bit careless, running after somebody, because I could have come off worse, but at the time I wasn’t worried,” Mandy said.
“This guy was in my property stealing my husband’s things. I think something just clicks.”
Doug, who ran the Flash Bang Wallop photography studio in Bolton Street, South Shore, said his wife grappled with the thief after finding him in their hotel – causing him to flee into the garden and over a fence.
He said losing his Nikon D800, worth thousands of pounds, would have ‘severely impacted him’”
Describing his wife as a ‘hero’, he added:
“She does surprise me from time to time, but when she shouted at the top of her lungs, ‘I’m going in,’ it was like a movie. She was back cooking breakfast at 8.45am!”