A QUICK-thinking landlord who caught two thieves stealing beer locked them in his pub cellar – where the hapless duo then called the police for help, writes Ellen Beardmore.
John Selby, owner of The Sitwell Arms in Renishaw, near Sheffield, is also writing to his MP after the intruders were handed cautions by police despite being caught in the act.
He had been alerted to the break-in by a village neighbour and found two teenagers trying to make off with £140 worth of beer.
The brave 66-year-old forced them back into the cellar and locked the door before calling the police to say they’d been caught ‘red-handed’.
John, aged 66, said: “A neighbour across the road phoned to say they’d seen someone breaking into the cellar. I saw one of the lads coming up with a case of beer.
“It was just an instant reaction.
“I shoved him back down in to the cellar and locked the door, charged round to lock the other door then called 999.”
The thieves were trapped in the cellar for about 15 minutes while John rang the emergency services for assistance.
But they had already called the police – and their parents – themselves to ask for help so they could be released.
Officers attended the hotel and the 19-year-old and 18-year-old culprits, both from Renishaw, were given cautions after admitting burglary.
A Derbyshire Police spokesman said a caution is given to adults who admit they are guilty of first-time minor offences.
But John said he felt more should have been done and he would be writing to his MP, North East Derbyshire representative Natascha Engel.
He added: “I will be writing to my MP.
“They were caught red-handed, it’s no deterrent to give them a caution.
“I think they should have at least been made to do some work in the community.”