Mum chased, caught and ‘arrested’ shop thief

Ann Marie Fogg, right, with Karen Worswick.
Ann Marie Fogg, right, with Karen Worswick.
Share this article

A suspected shop thief was chased, grabbed and wrestled to the ground by a brave have-a-go mum.

Market stall worker Ann Marie Fogg dashed into action as the man made his getaway in Chorley town centre.

The 34-year-old, 5ft 2ins, nine stone single mum, made her ‘citizen’s arrest’ on the six-footer as passers-by watched in amazement.

Now she has been hailed a real hero.

The drama unfolded close to Chorley covered market on Wednesday morning.

The man entered Eye Design Opticians, Market Place, run by Karen Worswick, and appeared to take off with three pairs of designer sunglasses.

Ann Marie, who works on the hot roast stall at the top of the market on New Market Street, was on a break when she witnessed what was happening.

“I was just walking back, next thing I saw Karen from Eye Design running saying ‘help’, ‘help’. I saw him running and said. ‘I’m having him’.

“I just ran after him, grabbed him and alerted everybody else to help.

“We restrained him on the floor so he couldn’t move. I recovered the glasses off him, I pulled them from his fingers. He was just saying ‘I just need the money’.

“He was around six foot.

“I’ve dreamnt about things like that. It was adrenalin more than anything that kicked in.

Karen, 59, from Accrington, said: “He came in right in front of me and lifted three designer sunglasses. He flew out of here, I flew after him. I’m screaming ‘stop him’.

“I don’t think I’ve ever run so fast in my life. I said ‘stop’, ‘stop’, ‘stop’, he’s thieving’.”

“Ann Marie went in front of him and grabbed him - this is a guy who’s run like mad. Three other guys got on top of him and put him down.

“He’s a big guy, so how she’s even stopped him? I was just in shock, really.”

Karen was full of praise and admiration for Ann Marie, of Portsmouth Drive, Chorley.

She said: “How wonderful. Marvellous. I said I couldn’t believe this has happened.

“She said ‘We’re Chorley people, we stick together - we aren’t having this in Chorley. I was amazed. I can’t believe she did it.

“Chorley people are wonderful. There’s not many people who do what they did.

“People were coming in saying ‘are you all right?’”

Ann Marie rang in work to let them know where she was after the incident.

She said: “I had to ring my boss and said ‘I’m coming back - I’m just making a citizen’s arrest!’

“I even took a picture of his face in case he got away but he wasn’t getting away from us.

“The town came together that day.

“I’ve seen it on telly and dreamnt about it, but I’ve never done it.”

Lancashire Police confirmed the incident which happened at around 11.20am on Wednesday, October 14.

A 20-year-old man from Chorley has appeared before magistrates at Chorley.

He is due to appear again at Preston Magistrates’ Court on October 29.