Brave father thanked for catching Shoreham Beach store shoplifter

Charlie Kinross with Neha Patel, who co-owns the Beach Shop
Charlie Kinross with Neha Patel, who co-owns the Beach Shop

When a father-of-two stopped to buy milk and a newspaper from his local convenience store one sunny Saturday, he had no idea he would end up catching a criminal.

Charlie Kinross, of Shoreham Beach, had just gone to give his 14-year-old son Cameron, who helps out at a nearby café, some lunch money before stopping at the Beach Shop in Ferry Road at 2pm.

Some of the shoplifted items

Some of the shoplifted items

He left the shop and was chatting to his friend Nick Bandy, who was having lunch with his family at the Beach Bakery, when another man exited the shop with a basket full of items – including several bottles of wine.

Neha Patel, who runs the shop with her sister, was running after him shouting ‘help’ and ‘thief’.

“Neha looked really frightened and upset,” Charlie said.

“I wanted to help her.”

A lot of people wouldn’t have helped – but they did

Shopkeeper Neha Patel

He said he ‘stood there dumbfounded for a minute’.

“The next thing I knew I had grabbed the man and thrown him to the floor,” he said.

The former rugby player, who describes himself as ‘quite heavy’, pinned the man to the ground – scraping the skin from his knees in the effort – while onlookers called the police.

“I was worried in case he produced a knife,” the 47-year-old said.

Charlie kept ahold of the man until the police arrived

Charlie kept ahold of the man until the police arrived

“There was a lot of wine everywhere and, within easy reach, a jagged broken bottle.”

He kept hold of the struggling man until the police arrived.

“It’s a curious thing,” said Charlie, a cameraman who has produced programmes for the BBC and Channel Five.

“I’ve never done anything like that before. It was quite an event.”

Police confirmed officers attended the scene and gave the 29-year-old man a police caution, a spokesperson said.

Charlie said Neha was left ‘pretty shaken up’ – but surprised him with a bottle of prosecco to say thank you the next time he visited the shop.

Neha Patel said nothing like that had ever happened before in the 18 years she has co-owned the store.

She thanked Charlie and Nick, who also helped restrain the man, and said: “They helped out a lot until the police came. It was very good.

“For me, it’s a community thing – a lot of people wouldn’t have helped – but they did.”

Nick said: “Charlie did a marvellous thing, really, to help a local shopkeeper.

“He did an excellent job.”

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