Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Stroppy Shoplifter

A heart warming scene in Warwick Street, Royal Leamington Spa today.

As I'm chatting to the manager in Waterstones about my upcoming book signing for THE CATASTROPHE OF THE EMERALD QUEEN he looks over my shoulder and goes "ooh, special hug going on out there!"

After momentarily pondering if that was some coded expression for "knee trembler in broad daylight up against the wall of Cargo" it turned out that a rather flabby security guard had chased and apprehended a blonde woman in a leopard print coat.

Venturing outside for a rubberneck I found them up against the wall of The Royal Priors (albeit with no knees trembling) with the woman in an arm lock and a ginger bloke attempting to get the guard to let her go.

"Come on mate, you don't need to drag her across the street!!"

"Let go my arm, let go my arm, let go my arm!!! You're hurting my arm, you're hurting my arm!!!"

I look at the security guard and ask "you called the police mate?"

"Yes, they're on their way and we're on camera" he replies, struggling with the leopard print woman and trying to keep himself between her and her chum. He then glances theatrically upwards, trying to convey that Big Brother is watching.

The ginger geezer then walks away and the security guard pulls the woman over the road.

"Let go my arm, let go my arm, let go my arm!!! You're hurting my arm, you're hurting my arm!!!"

"I'm holding you to prevent you causing injury to yourself or me" he says firmly, clearly reciting lines learned in "Chav Detainment Part 1".

She looks at him in disbelief and asks "how am I going to hurt myself you stupid man?!! I've got a broken back and you're assaulting me!!!"

"Let go the bags and I'll let go your arm."

"Let go my arm."

"Let go the bags!"



I position myself so I can see what he's doing and where his hands are, in case the malodorous cow later claims he fiddled with her fanny. While he has her arm behind her back, it's not causing pain and considering the situation he's very calm and handling this about as well as any civilian could.

"Let go my arm, let go my arm, let go my arm!!! You're hurting my arm, you're hurting my arm!!!"

3 security guards from the Royal Priors wander over. "This man's assaulting me, I want you to be witnesses!" she yells at them.

"Really?" the oldest one replies, looking bored. He turns to the arm locker and goes "you alright mate?"

"Fine, police are on the way" he says, checking the area is clear. I'm stood near two Big Issues sellers who clearly think this is all highly amusing.

"Let go my arm, let go my arm, let go my arm!!! You're hurting my arm, you're hurting my arm!!!"

"It is to prevent you from hurting me or yourself or others!!!"

"How am I going to hurt other people you twat?!! I've got a broken back and you're assaulting me!!!"

A bit of cloth falls to the floor, someone retrieves it. It's the guard's clip-on tie that has come free in the struggle. 

I see a police car turn into Warwick Street. No sirens, so clearly not a grade 1. "Police behind you mate" I say and he turns round. 

Two cops get out, reassuringly big blokes as opposed to the 5 feet zero inch women with arses like pears that I'd feared would respond. 

They walk over to the struggling fat bloke and the billowing folds of leopard print.

"Alright mate?" one says to the guard who gingerly begins to release his grip on the struggling shoplifter. She holds up her hand.

"Look what he did to my hand!" she wails "that's assault that is!"

The cop looks at her wrist, pulls the sleeve back to check for injury then says "well now you're going in cuffs" and slaps one on her arm. He gets the other one on then the woman is led to the car, loudly lamenting the entirely legitimate use of force she was subjected to.

"I want you to arrest him for assault!!!"

As the guard gives his details and they look at the items she'd pilfered I wait and then say to the officer with him, "I saw what he did and in my opinion it was entirely fair. If you want my name for a statement saying that in case she tries to claim he touched her, I'm happy to give it you."

The cop smiles and says "she hasn't so far said that but thanks." He takes my name, phone number and address.

I state slowly "while he had her arm behind her back he wasn't forcing it up  and I believe that what he did was entirely justified in the context of a citizen's arrest."

The cop finishes his notes and smiles again. "Thanks mate."

The guard is putting his tie back on. I tap his arm "take care, yeah."

He extends his hand which I shake then adds "really appreciate that, no one else usually bothers. Thanks."

Addendum: 22nd November 2012

According to another security guard in a supermarket in town….the majority of shoplifters are drunken twats who get violent and are doing it for money, not to eat. One bloke apparently came back several times and filled a basket up with steaks before they took the draconian and Darth Vaderish step of BANNING HIM FROM THE STORE.
Bloke told me that twice he has had hold of people and was in the process of lobbing them out the front door when the duty managers (i.e. early 20s and acne) came over and ordered him to let the wriggling wretch go.
“But he’ll hit me!”
“Let. Him. Go”
Soon as he did so, he got a fist in the face.

1 comment:

  1. "As well as a civilian can"? FFS you ARE a civilian unless in the RMP. Are you in the RMP Lance?


Your turn to speak...
Feel free to disagree but insults and insinuations
will get your comment deleted.