Have-a-go youth helps snare Hatfield shoplifter

A TEENAGE boxing enthusiast has spoken of his pride after he helped snare a shoplifter at the weekend.

Darren Hays, 15, was cycling to his home in Foxhollows, Hatfield, when he spotted a security guard chasing two thieves from the town’s Asda store at around 1.50pm on Sunday.

But rather than looking the other way like many would be inclined to do, the have-a-go youngster pursued the men on his bike, forcing them to ditch the �39 worth of ready meals they had stolen.

Darren even cornered one of the men until police arrived by informing him that he knew how to box.

The thief, a 19-year-old man, was subsequently arrested by the police and cautioned for theft.

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Darren, who boxes at St Albans Boxing Club, told the WHT he did not need to get close to the thief.

“All I said is ‘if you move I will put you to the floor and hold you there’,” Darren said.

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“I knew for a fact he wasn’t going to go away.”

Darren was rewarded with a �10 Asda voucher for his efforts.

Proud father Mark said his son was on “a real buzz” following the incident.

Mark, 43, also revealed that Darren was now considering joining the police force.

Welwyn Hatfield neighbourhood inspector Ian Grout acknowledged Darren’s role in bringing the shoplifter to justice.

He said: “While we would not encourage members of the public to intervene in any situation for their own safety, the actions of this community-spirited young man should be highlighted.

“If he had not intervened we may not have arrested this man.”

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