Shop workers get award for tackling knifeman

TWO brave shop workers who tackled a knife-wielding thief have received commendations from the Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire police. Andrew Beadle and Barry Pritchard stopped a shoplifter as he made off with £30 worth of men s razors from Wilkinson s

TWO brave shop workers who tackled a knife-wielding thief have received commendations from the Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire police.

Andrew Beadle and Barry Pritchard stopped a shoplifter as he made off with £30 worth of men's razors from Wilkinson's in Huntingdon in October last year.

The thief threatened both men with a knife as he attempted to flee the St Germain Walk area.

Mr Pritchard, 42, who was working as a security guard for Wilkinson's, said he had spotted the thief on CCTV putting razors into a green rucksack.


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He radioed other staff members and nearby stores to warn them about the shoplifter and give them a description of the man.

However, by the time he ran onto the shop floor to look for the thief, he had already left.

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But the thief had not managed to flee far. Outside the man was being held by Mr Beadle, the duty manager of Peacocks.

"I then saw the man turn round with a knife and Mr Beadle let go of the bag," added Mr Pritchard. "I ran after the man and chased him to the Pound Shop where he pulled the knife out and started swinging it at me. It was a six inch blade lock knife.

"I backed off to stop myself getting hurt and he turned and ran towards the Jobcentre. I gave chase but kept my distance and the police apprehended him outside the Three Tuns pub."

After a court case where both men had to give evidence the thief, a 32-year-old, from Huntingdon was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

Mr Pritchard, who lives in March, added: "I was terrified but I was just doing my job. At the time I wasn't thinking about my safety I was more concerned that the man could run into another store and pull the knife on a woman or child."

Both men received their awards at the Chief Constables Annual Awards Ceremony on Monday evening (May 19) at Hinchingbrooke Performing Arts Centre in Huntingdon.

Mr Pritchard who now works at the Peterborough branch of Wilkinson's added: "I didn't think I would get an award as I was just doing my job."

Mr Beadle, 28, who lives in Yaxley, said: "When the man came our of the store I didn't really have time to think I just had to react and once he pulled out the knife I knew I had to back away."

Awards were also given to police officers in honour of long service, good conduct and outstanding contributions.

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