A British man and his fiancee were out shopping for an engagement ring when a thief entered the store, but rather than high-tail it out of there or hunker down for safety, the man jumped into action to stop the criminal.
According to the U.K. Mirror, 52-year-old Andy Fiddler has been hailed as a “hero” for what he did while witnessing an attempted robbery at DJM Goldsmiths in Preston, Lancashire, U.K.
Fiddler and 45-year-old fiancee Mandy Rishton were trying on engagement rings when a masked thief later identified as Aaron Jameson-Kennedy entered the store, vaulted over the counter and began snatching whatever jewelry he could from the display cases.
Surveillance footage showed that Fiddler ripped off his jacket in preparation and caught the robber as he came back over the counter in a bid to escape, instead being tackled to the ground and then held by store employees until police could arrive.
One of the co-owners of the shop, Gary Shaw, said what Fiddler did was “fantastic” and stated, “It was impressive the way he took his jacket off and just jumped in there.”
The other co-owner, David Mounsey, noted that Fiddler “didn’t hesitate” to jump into the fray, and joked that the “amazing” footage of the incident could be made into a movie. “We’re stars aren’t we, I’m going to have Robert DeNiro play me in the film,” Mounsey stated.
Shaw said about $600 worth of damage was done to the shop in what was the fourth robbery of the store’s 35-year history.
“We’re only a small company, we’ve worked for 35 years, and we’ve worked damned hard, and we feel it doesn’t give somebody the right to decide that they want to take our hard-earned stock,” Shaw said. “We’ve worked damned hard for it over the years, seven days a week, and then somebody like this comes in and thinks they can just help themselves.”
According to the Lancashire Post, Fiddler’s fiancee Rishton also marveled at the brave actions of her soon to be husband, and stated, “It’s an event we’ll never forget.”
“He’s my hero,” she continued. “It’s funny because at first you think it was such a good thing to do, but it was such a silly thing to do as well. At that point he hadn’t brandished a weapon but he could have had a knife. But I think instinct just kicks in.”
She recalled how Fiddler had tossed his coat to her and how she had hidden behind the counter with a saleswoman during the scuffle.
For his part, Fiddler stated, “I don’t know what was going through my mind — its just that he was thieving, and if I’ve got to pay, he’s got to pay. It seemed the right thing to do.”
“It’s strange but there was no fear factor, it didn’t cross my mind,” he added. “I was trying to protect Mandy from any threat and keep him in the shop.”
Police arrived soon after and took Jameson-Kennedy into custody. Three days later he pleaded guilty to robbery in the Preston Magistrate’s Court and was sentenced to 16 weeks in jail and a fine equivalent to about $175.
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