'Lack of punishment' for Renishaw beer thieves

John Selby
Image caption Mr Selby said the people who make the laws do not live in the real world

A pub landlord who caught two teenage beer thieves and locked them in his cellar says he plans to complain to his MP about their "lack of punishment".

John Selby, owner of The Sitwell Arms in Renishaw, Derbyshire, caught the youths, aged 18 and 19, trying to steal £140 worth of beer.

Police arrested them after freeing them from the locked cellar, but they were later released with a caution.

Mr Selby said he was "disgusted" by the decision.

He praised the police's efforts, but believes the policy makers are at fault and plans to contact North East Derbyshire MP Natascha Engel about the matter.

A Derbyshire police spokesperson said cautions were given to adults who admit a first-time minor offence.

Call from the cellar

Image caption The two thieves were locked in the cellar after being caught red handed

Mr Selby said: "The message that's getting out to them is it's not a problem - you can go and walk about people's property and you'll not be in too much trouble.

"I was convinced they wouldn't get away with this one."

Mr Selby confronted the teenagers on the 18 December as they walked up the steps leading from the pub's cellar carrying beer.

He forced them back into the cellar and locked the door before calling police, only to find out the youths had beaten him to it.

Mr Selby said: "I do believe they were terrified of the consequences.

"These guys had phoned the police and their mum and dad, who also arrived on the scene."

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