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Suspect brought down at cashpoint

PUBLISHED: 18:06 05 December 2008 | UPDATED: 14:51 07 July 2010

Ian Clarke

It was not so much the long arm of the law as the leg of a quick-thinking female shopper which trapped an on-the-run suspected criminal in a busy town centre today.

It was not so much the long arm of the law as the leg of a quick-thinking female shopper which trapped an on-the-run suspected criminal in a busy town centre today.

The woman - who was last night hailed for her efforts by police - was standing in a queue at the Nationwide cash point machine in Dereham's Nelson Place precinct when she tripped up the man who was trying to escape.

He had been pursued by two plain-clothed officers who had followed him for several hundred yards through market day shoppers at lunchtime.

The chase began just after 1pm in the High Street near its junction with Wrights Walk when the police recognised the 25-year-old man, who had a warrant out for his arrest.

The suspect - who had trainers on while the officers wore suits and shoes - ran along the High Street, up the Baptist Church drive and footpath, into Norwich Street and Nunns Way before he entered the precinct.

The officers were shouting “stop him” and as he tried to run through the line of people at the cash point the woman in her 40s intervened and he was “pole-axed” to the ground and fell flat on his face.

The man - from the Dereham area - was then arrested and taken into custody.

He had allegedly failed to appear on a warrant and was also suspected of shoplifting, a domestic assault, possession of drugs and possession of two screwdrivers.

The woman did not want to be identified, but Det Sgt Peter Jessop, of Dereham Police, said: “Her timing was absolutely perfect and she pole-axed him to the ground. We are very grateful to her for her efforts, which could have injured her and she was a very good citizen.”

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