Neath hero granddad in line for police award for pursuing a bag-snatcher
A HERO granddad is in line for an award for his relentless pursuit of a bag-snatcher.
He gave chase by car and on foot after seeing the thief grab a handbag out of a woman's car in Neath town centre.
The grandfather eventually confronted him and managed to recover the woman's purse before the culprit ran off.
Even then he helped with the police search before 30-year-old Gareth Robin White was eventually found and arrested.
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White, of no fixed address, subsequently appeared before Neath magistrates.
He pleaded guilty to three counts of theft, earning him a 24-week prison sentence.
Neath and Pontardawe sector inspector Huw Griffiths said the grandfather, who wants to keep a low profile, saw White run away from a car.
Then he heard a distraught woman shout that her handbag had been taken.
"He couldn't do anything straightaway as he had his very young grandchild with him.
"As soon as his wife appeared he told her and his grandchild to get into the back seat, then drove after the suspect," said Mr Griffiths.
"He caught up with him in Wellfield Avenue, by which time the suspect had dumped the handbag, and got out of the car to follow on foot.
"He demanded to know where the handbag was, and White threw the purse to the ground.
"The grandfather picked it up and continued to follow the suspect, who eventually admitted he had left the bag in a nearby lane."
Mr Griffiths said White then ran off and the grandfather went to Neath Police Station, where the woman victim was waiting.
He gave her the purse back, then provided police with a full description and other details.
He even took part in the area search, which led to a dog handler tracking White down.
Mr Griffiths said White had admitted two other similar offences, which led to him facing three charges.
"We don't want the public putting themselves at risk but if they feel they can deal with a situation safely the law will cover them," he added.
"I will be putting the grandfather forward for a commendation for his public-spiritedness."