Two good Samaritans have been praised by police for their "selfless actions" after they chase down a thief who snatched money from a pensioner's hand as she used a cash machine.
Warren Atkinson, of Midland Road, Swadlincote, has now been jailed for 14 weeks after he was caught by the public spirited passers-by as he fled the scene on the foot. The pair have now been praised by officers after they even managed to return the £50 he had stolen to the victim after the broad daylight theft.
Atkinson also had a knife when he approached the 66-year-old woman as she was withdrawing cash from an ATM in High Street, Swadlincote.
The 27-year-old mugger managed to swipe £50 from her hands after he sneaked up behind her. He then turned and fled the scene on foot.
However,the woman cried out for help and the two passing members of the public came to her rescue and they chased the thief.
Their efforts were also praised on social media at the time of the mugging. Derbyshire Police later confirmed Atkinson had been arrested following the incident at 11am, on Friday, September 22, and he appeared at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court the next day to answer the charge.
Following a second court appearance Atkinson admitted theft and possession of a Stanley knife in a public place, and he has now been jailed for 14 weeks.
Magistrates decided to jail him after hearing the victim was a "vulnerable, elderly victim and he was in possession of a weapon when committing theft during daylight hours in crowded area".
Atkinson was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.
Inspector Kate Bateman, who is in charge of policing in Swadlincote, said: "This must have been a shocking and upsetting incident for the victim, who called out for help when Atkinson stole her money.
"The passers-by who came to her aid were selfless in their actions and didn’t hesitate to run after him. They took the cash from Atkinson and returned it to the victim."