A callous thiefs bid to snatch an elderly pensioners purse was foiled by three firemen on their way back to base. Ian Reynolds, Gary Weight and Andy Foy, members of the red watch at Rochdale Fire Station, were returning to Maclure Road at around 2pm on Wednesday after a period of stand-by duty in Oldham.
When they stopped at traffic lights in the centre of Royton they heard a woman shout desperately: “Stop, thief!”
The three fire officers jumped out of their vehicle and quickly went off in pursuit of the thief, who had snatched the 80-year-old pensioner’s purse from a bag she was carrying.
They chased him down a nearby alley and, after about 200 yards, brought him to earth with a flying rugby tackle.
While they held him to the ground, retrieving the grateful pensioner’s purse in the process, crew manager Clive Smith, who was driving the engine, had contacted Fire Brigade control centre to alert the police, who were also quickly on the scene.
The thief was then handed over to police officers.