A have-a-go hero foiled a Newmarket shop thief who threatened him with what he claimed was HIV-infected blood.
Store detective, Ben Preston, ran after the man after he saw him snatch items from Newmarket’s Marks and Spencer store.
Mr Preston, 23, eventually caught up with the suspect and he was arrested by police but not before he had tried to spray the store detective with blood from a cut on his wrist claiming he had HIV.
On Sunday, Mr Preston’s actions were recognised with a special award presented by the Forest Heath Crime Prevention Panel.
He said he was working at the Newmarket store to tackle a rise in shop thefts in the run-up to Christmas.
“I saw a man had nicked some stuff and he started to run when I spotted him. He raced off across a busy road then jumped into someone’s garden but I kept chasing him by running round the other side,” said Mr Preston.
“When I got to him he grabbed me by the throat and ran back with me into someone’s front door. He had somehow cut his wrist and started trying to spray with his blood saying he had HIV so I had better back off. When he got to a housing estate, I ran up to the building he went into and pressed the buzzer but no-one opened the door.
“Eventually the police turned up, we got in and followed a trail of blood up stairs and found his flat,” said Mr Preston
“It is great getting this award. It was just instinct that made me chase him really but if I had not followed him he might have bled out as he was alone in the flat so there would have been nobody to help him.
n A 42-year-old man is due in court in connection with the incident later this month.