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Brave taxi driver, 76, thwarts burglars by grabbing wheel of their getaway van

PUBLISHED: 15:58 29 March 2019

Police want to speak to anyone that saw the white Volkswagen Caddy van in Mill Street, Polstead, on March 23 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Police want to speak to anyone that saw the white Volkswagen Caddy van in Mill Street, Polstead, on March 23 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

A 76-year-old thwarted a pair of would-be burglars by grabbing the steering wheel of their van to stop them making off with £3,000 worth of his belongings.

Taxi driver David Howard was dragged 30ft by the raiders’ white Volkswagen Caddy in the terrifying incident, after he saw them walking out of the shed at his home in Mill Street, Polstead with a bag of golf clubs.

Their hurried getaway meant they forgot to shut the back door of the van, meaning the golf bag and sit-on lawnmower they had stolen fell out of the van during their escape.

Mr Howard escaped with minor injuries to his hands and ribs.

Mr Howard said of the incident at about 2.30pm on Saturday, March 23: “I spotted him wheeling out the golf caddy when he saw me.

“He shouted: ‘Drive, drive, drive!’ to the other guy in the van.

“I chased him as he threw the clubs in the back of the van and I managed to throw a bag through the driver window to try and distract the driver, and got hold of the wheel before he started to pull away.

“I made it about 30ft before the speed of the van pulled me off and I landed on the dirt.”

Mr Howard said the burglars tried to smash the shed window but eventually got in by stealing the padlock.

“That’s the only thing I’ve had to replace thankfully, with a much more expensive padlock,” he said.

“I would warn anyone in the area to be extra vigilant and keep an eye out for vehicles in the area that they don’t recognise.”

Now Suffolk Constabulary want the help of the public to find the men in the van.

The suspect Mr Howard chased is described as white, aged in his 40s and approximately 5ft 6in or 5ft 7in tall.

He is described as being of slim build and was wearing brown boots.

Police would like to hear from anyone who saw any suspicious people or vehicles in the village on Saturday.

Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101 quoting reference 16454/19.

Alternatively, this can be reported online at www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/existing-report-update

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