A man whose wallet was stolen in Northampton had it returned to him after a member of the public challenged the thief.
The man in his 70s was shopping in Iceland in St Peter’s Way, Northampton, on the morning of December 14 last year, when his wallet was stolen from his pocket.
The thief was Florin Lacatus, aged 50, of Kingsland Avenue, Northampton, but before he could make good his escape, Lacatus was challenged by a member of the public who had spotted the theft take place.
The good Samaritan was a Northampton man who approached Lacatus and asked him to return the older man’s property.
However Lacatus decided to attack the younger man instead, knocking him to the side and causing him to hit his shoulder and back. Thankfully, the man was not seriously injured as a result.
Lacatus ran from the store but was located a short while later by police officers who arrested him, with the wallet returned to its rightful owner.
He was subsequently charged with one count of theft and one count of assault.
After pleading guilty to the offences earlier this month, Lacatus returned to Northampton Magistrates’ Court this week (January 10), where he was sentenced to 100 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £100 in compensation.
Response officer PC Lewis Hayman, who attended the incident, said: “I am really pleased with the positive outcome on this crime and that the victim had his wallet and money returned to him.
“I’d also like to thank the member of the public who stepped in to help and challenge Lacatus when so many people would have just looked the other way. He showed great community spirit.
“I hope Lacatus reflects on his behaviour and decides to make better choices in the future.”
Photo: Police officers with victim of the crime after his wallet was returned to him