Essex

Essex PC's shopping stolen during supermarket thief chase

Supermarket aisle Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The off-duty police officer left his own shopping with supermarket security to chase a thief

An off-duty policeman who tried to catch a supermarket shoplifter had his own shopping stolen while giving chase.

PC Graham Thomas was leaving Asda in South Woodham Ferrers, Essex, with his shopping when he saw security guards confronting a man.

When the man ran off, the officer joined the chase, but returned to discover his own bag had been taken.

"It was annoying, but people will find it amusing and ironic that this has happened to a copper, " he said.

PC Thomas said he saw the thief being confronted by Asda security on Wednesday afternoon.

Image copyright Google
Image caption PC Thomas gave chase as he was leaving the Asda supermarket on Ferrers Road

He left his bag of vegetables and hamster treats, along with a case of beer, at the store's customer service desk before joining the chase.

Reimbursed

The thief got away and when the policeman got back he was told staff had placed his bag in a chiller cabinet, but it was no longer there.

When the store's CCTV footage was reviewed later, it turned out a woman had taken it.

"When I got back I was told they'd placed my bag in the chiller, presumably because they didn't know how long I would be gone - although there was nothing that particularly needed keeping cool in it," said PC Thomas, who is based at Chelmsford Police Station.

The beer had not been taken and the shop reimbursed him for the rest of his £18 shop, which he had already paid for.

An Asda spokeswoman said: "We take incidents like this very seriously and we would like to thank Essex Police for their assistance with this matter."

Neither thief has been caught.

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