Friday, October 24, 2008

68 Year Old Grandma Chases Down Thief

Another Reason To Get and Stay Fit. Yea, Janet!

Granny Janet Lane runs teenager to ground over snatched pension
The Times
Simon de Bruxelles

It was an unequal chase: a 68-year-old grandmother against a teenage thief who had just run off with her bag.

The bag-snatcher had no chance.

Janet Lane was sitting on a park bench when three teenagers grabbed her handbag containing £100 in cash, her mobile phone, an umbrella, a first-aid kit and a present that she had just bought for a friend.

What the thief did not know was that Mrs Lane had won the Yorkshire cross-country championship as a schoolgirl in 1953 and had kept herself in shape ever since.

As he and his two accomplices ran away, Mrs Lane set off in pursuit, chasing them 100 metres across a park and into the grounds of a hotel. Despite wearing sandals, the 5ft 6in (1.68m) tall grandmother managed to catch up and grabbed one of the youths by the collar. The youth, aged about 15, dropped her bag and begged to be let go. All three escaped empty-handed.

Mrs Lane, a retired nurse, said: “Those boys saw a little old lady and thought I was easy pickings, but there was no way I was going to sit there and let them get away with it. I was so angry when they took it. I had been to collect my pension and I had water rates to pay with that money.

“My first reaction was, ‘They are not having my bag'. I used to be a very good runner when I was younger so I just got up and ran after them.”

Mrs Lane, a divorced grandmother of two, had her bag stolen as she sat on a bench near the Riviera International Centre in Torquay, Devon.

She said: “I had my shopping bag with me by my side and I turned around, looking for my friend, Sue, who would be coming around the corner. The boys came up to me and asked for a cigarette but I said no. They must have been checking if I had anything worth stealing. They must have come back and I felt a whooshing movement and I saw a boy in a grey hooded top take my bag.”

A spokesman at the Inglewood Hotel, in Torquay, where Mrs Lane chased them to ground, said: “There was quite a commotion outside as the lady ran by chasing the boys. Her shouting alerted two waiters who were putting up decorations and they tried to stop them as well.”

However, Devon and Cornwall Police warned members of the public against following Mrs Lane's example. A spokesman said: “Generally, for safety reasons, we do not actively encourage this kind of behaviour, as you never know what could happen. But we understand this woman is a former cross-country runner and did not feel able to let it go.”

The police are continuing their inquiries.

No comments: