Shop boss subdues alleged thief by sitting on him

Shop boss subdues alleged thief by sitting on him
Mr Tan (in black), scolding the shoplifter while subduing him.

SINGAPORE - While his shop assistant was on a toilet break, the owner was nearby monitoring the Tampines shop's CCTV feed on his mobile phone when he noticed something amiss.

A middle-aged man was acting suspiciously and fiddling with his assistant's laptop at around 5pm on Wednesday.

Having observed the man lurking around his shop a few times before, the owner, who wanted to be known only as Mr Tan, 26, rushed back to confront the would-be thief.

A shouting match started, then escalated into a fight.

Recounting what happened, Mr Tan, proprietor of Mobile Dots Repair at Block 201, Tampines Street 21, said that he saw on his phone that the man had closed the lid of his assistant's laptop and unplugged its wires.

So he rushed there to confront the man, who was holding the laptop and had his back to Mr Tan.

The man hurriedly replaced the laptop, claiming that he merely wanted to examine its adaptor.

He repeatedly denied that he had been attempting to steal it, claiming Mr Tan had no proof.

When the man grew agitated and attempted to leave, Mr Tan blocked his path. He also told the man that his actions had been plainly visible on the store's CCTV cameras.

The shouting match between the two men intensified, drawing the attention of passers-by and of his assistant as he returned from his break.

The assistant, who wanted to be known only as Chris, 20, and Mr Tan tackled the man when he tried to flee.

Mr Tan said: "He punched me on my left side, near the kidney, when we pushed him to the ground to stop him from leaving."

With the help of a passer-by, they subdued the man, sitting on him to hold him down. But he bit Mr Tan's right foot.

Mr Tan and the man exchanged a volley of colourful insults and profanities as he continued to deny any wrongdoing and tried to wriggle free.

A video of the man being pinned down was posted on citizen journalism site Stomp on Thursday.

A police spokesman confirmed that they had received a call at 5.12pm requesting assistance.

When police arrived, they established a case of theft in dwelling.

A 40-year-old man was arrested. Investigations are ongoing.

He punched me on my left side, near the kidney, when we pushed him to the ground to stop him from leaving.

This article was first published on February 07, 2015.
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