Mum-of-four chases teenage girl through Romford toy shop after she attempts to flee with her handbag
18:00 19 January 2014
A mother-of-four whose bag was taken while she was in a toy shop with her children has spoken of the moment she grappled with the thief – who turned out to be a 14-year-old girl.
Lacey Rigby, 25, was in The Entertainer in the Brewery, Romford, when she noticed her clutch bag had vanished from the top of her buggy.
After a moment of panic, she saw a girl running towards the shop’s exit and decided to pursue her.
“I ran towards the door as I thought she was going to try and get away,” said Lacey, of Whitchurch Road, Harold Hill.
“I stopped her and grabbed hold of her hair.
“Her bag then slipped down her shoulder and I saw my bag inside it. I managed to get it back and an off-duty police officer who was nearby detained her.”
At the time, Lacey was with her neighbour’s children and her own youngsters Frankie, six, Darcie-Mae, three, Teddie, two, and Ronnie, 11 months.
She said: “It wasn’t the best day, but it could have been worse.
“The police were brilliant, absolutely fantastic. I can’t fault them in any way, shape or form.
“It would be nice if people were made aware so they keep an eye on their bags.
“You never know when it is going to happen and you don’t think it is going to happen like that.”
A police spokesman said a 14-year-old girl was arrested and charged with going equipped [for theft] and theft.
She has been bailed and will appear at Redbridge Youth Court later this month.