Viral

Shop owner praised for how he responded to thief's failed robbery attempt

Shoplifter shoves 82-year-old Home Depot worker to ground

A failed thief was left red-faced after his plan to steal £1,600 worth of mobile phones backfired spectacularly when he discovered the door was locked, preventing him from escaping.

The embarrassing moment was caught on camera in the Phone Market in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire as the man had no choice but to sheepishly turn around (after a few curse words) and return the stolen phones to the owner, claiming it was a friend's idea.

Turns out the shop owner of 24 years Afzal Adam, 52, luckily had remotely locked the doors installed back in 2020 for £250 in order for staff to use from behind the counter.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

It was worth the money as Adam locked the doors in this instance after the man entered the shop.

In the end, Adam decided to let the man go in case he decided to become violent or cause damage to his store.

Police were called about the incident, but they said it wasn't a priority because the man didn't steal anything.

The man attempted to nab the two phones, and he went to open the shop door - only to discover it was locked... SWNS

“With people wearing masks and balaclavas, I was worried about not being able to identify anyone if they did steal from my store," Adam said.

“He would have gotten away with £1,600 worth of merchandise, so the mechanism has paid for itself!

“After I had the owner of another local story come in and ask what mechanism we had as they wanted the same."

The owner also noted he hadn't experienced anything like this before and sent the footage to his family's WhatsApp group where it was posted to Facebook in the hopes of identifying the man.

Soon enough, the video was uploaded to TikTok where the clip went viral, with 4.4m views which has left Adam overwhelmed at the response, noting how "99.99 per cent of the comments have been saying well done and commending our forgiveness."

He added: "Some people have been asking ‘Why didn’t you beat him up?’, but we would never do that.

“I hope I have showed people what humanity is - there’s more to the story than this and if we had acted out. It would just have been another story of violence.

“People who do things like this, they do it for a reason - they could be under-privileged, etc.

“If you are just kind and support people, you’d be surprised what comes of it.”

The phone shop has also posted to Instagram to "reach out to this particular individual," and added for those who "...are struggling to put food on the table, please come visit us in store to see how we can help."

Additional SWNS reporting by Jessica Hehir-Smith.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)