Brave Crouch End barista catches suspected pickpocket following chase through streets
PUBLISHED: 12:26 23 August 2017
A hero has said he was "just happy to help" following a chase through the streets to catch a suspected pickpocketer.
Harvey Jones was at work in coffee shop Harris and Hoole in Crouch End on Monday afternoon when his manager Mellyssa Feller noticed two women and a man acting suspiciously after entering.
After the trio left Ms Feller raised the alarm after a customer said her purse had disappeared.
Mr Jones sprang into action along with colleague Valentina Bassini rushing out of the store in search of the suspected thieves.
The 22-year-old barista began to chase the three after spotting them already half-way down Coleridge Road, retrieving the customer’s purse after the man threw it to the ground.
When the suspects split up near The Blue Legume Mr Jones went after the older of the two women shouting to her that she couldn’t go around stealing.
“In some ways it was a fantastic experience because I bumped into coffee shop regulars willing to help. One resident told me which way the man went,” Mr Jones, who lives in Crouch End, said.
Within minutes Mr Jones caught up with the woman who then bit him on the wrist after he grabbed hold of her coat in a bid to stop her from escaping.
“She was very emotional, screaming she didn’t do it. She was hyper-ventilating,” he said.
At that point Harris and Hoole assistant manager Valentina Bassini caught up with her brave colleague with the police arriving soon after she made a 999 call.
Reflecting on the incident, Mr Jones said: “Crouch End is such a beautiful place, it’s a fantastic place, and people are taking advantage of that. It’s just despicable beyond words. It makes me angry that we live in a world where people think they can just take money from people who have earned it.
“I wanted to get it into the thieves brains they can’t do this kind of thing. The level of crime in Crouch End is incredibly disheartening. Now I’m just really happy to have helped out in some way,” a modest Mr Jones added.
Paying tribute to her Mr Jones and Ms Bassini, Ms Feller said: “It was really brave. They just ran. They didn’t have a second thought. It’s normal for the two of them to do something like that.”
Confirming the incident, a police spokesman said: “The victim made it clear they did not want any police action. There were no arrests.”