Search

Council worker helps police nab Ilford bag snatcher

09:00 25 August 2014

Phil Smith works as manager of housing standards for Redbridge Council (Picture: Phil Smith)

Phil Smith works as manager of housing standards for Redbridge Council (Picture: Phil Smith)

Archant

An eagle-eyed council worker has been praised by police for helping catch a bag snatcher.

Phil Smith was on his lunch break in Ilford town centre when he witnessed a man grab a woman’s bag and make off into the distance.

“I suddenly became aware of someone shouting ‘stop him’,” he said.

“There was a male running between fronts and the market stalls towards me.

“I was standing near the bottom of Chadwick Road, near the Exchange.

“I had a quick look round - if there had been police in hot pursuit I might have challenged him.

“But there weren’t so I didn’t - he might have had a knife.”

The 59-year-old from South Woodford then spotted the thief, described as wearing a “loud” coat, dump the bag in a bin before flagging down a police car on another call.

With his and the help of another woman, police later apprehended the bag snatcher, and 25-year-old Rick Ayres, of Mortlake Road, Ilford, was fined £345 at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on August 6.

He will also have to do 150 hours unpaid work for the June 27 offence.

Mr Smith, who works in Redbridge Council’s housing department, said there was a “simple message” behind his actions.

“You do not have to be a ‘have-a-go’ hero,” he said.”

“You can just try to observe things and help police to do what they’re doing.”

He went on: “I’m very pleased. I’m not such a hero. I just wanted help, and I’m glad I could.”

Redridge Borough Commander Sue Williams said: “It is always good to see the public playing their part in crime reduction and assisting the police with vital information that has led to the identification and apprehending of the suspect.

“Phil Smith’s prompt action ensured the victim of crime had satisfaction in knowing the suspect was caught and that her property was recovered promptly.

“We are grateful for his assistance.”

Read more:

Police to push for more officers as force faces ‘exceptionally busy weekend’
Organised crime linked to spate of van thefts
Thousands of Redbridge residents targeted by internet criminals

Latest Ilford News Stories

Yesterday, 15:13
New grounds at St Andrew's Ilford,
Rev Marie Segal, with the Church committee.

For many young children, believing in Father Christmas is an essential part of the magic.

Yesterday, 12:00
Landmark locations across Redbridge. The old Wanstead Hospital building

A look back at the biggest stories of this week from 20, 40 and 60 years ago.

Saturday, December 3, 2016
Ayisha Davies-Reaz has gained a Young Citizen award nomination

A student who promotes sport and outdoor activities at Redbridge College has been nominated for the Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award.

Saturday, December 3, 2016
Festival goers at the One Love festival

Good vibes and relaxed times are coming back to the borough next year.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now