Shropshire

Telford woman 'rewards' thief who stole her handbag

A woman chased a thief who snatched her handbag, grabbed it back and then rewarded him with £10 to buy food.

The thief grabbed the 61-year-old's bag as she was pushing her bicycle along Lawton Farm Way in Leegomery, Telford, on Wednesday.

The woman gave chase and caught up with him in an area known as The Spinney, after the theft, at about 1130 BST.

She later told police the thief said he targeted her only because he was "hungry and homeless".

The woman, who does not want to be named, was walking with her elderly mother at the time and had not given any thought to what she was doing.

"I just saw my bag being whipped from my bike basket and I just ran after the person with it. I was determined I wasn't going to give up," she said.

"For some reason he just stopped and I managed to catch up with him. He kept on saying how sorry he was and said he needed a tenner because he was homeless and hungry.

"I told him to give me my bag back and that I would give him some money. He did so and I gave him £10 and he walked off," she said.

A spokeswoman for West Mercia Police said they did not encourage people to take the law into their own hands, but said the victim made a "very brave decision".

"Although the woman successfully got her back bag, we would not recommend members of the public to challenge potential suspects themselves," she said.

"Fortunately, nobody was injured following this incident and we are glad the victim got her property back safely."

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