Northampton shopkeeper makes citizen’s arrest of man suspected of ‘inappropriate touching’

Staff at Shoezone in the Drapery detained a man they believed was wanted in connection with a series of innapropriate touching incidents in the town centre.
Staff at Shoezone in the Drapery detained a man they believed was wanted in connection with a series of innapropriate touching incidents in the town centre.

A shop supervisor detained a man in her store this morning as she believed he was wanted for a series of inappropriate touching incidents around Northampton on Sunday.

Yesterday Northamptonshire Police released a witness appeal after reports of a man acting suspiciously in the Drapery, Northampton, just after midday on Sunday.

It said the man, with prominent front teeth, approached a number of women, grabbing at them and touching them inappropriately and called for witnesses to come forward.

However in yesterday’s press statement the force did not mention that it had already arrested a 59-year-old man in connection with the incidents on Sunday and had bailed him pending further enquiries.

When a man matching that description walked past Shoezone in the Drapery today, supervisor Emma Roberts noticed him and invited him into the store.

When he followed, she and staff detained him at the rear of the store until police arrived.

“I had read about it (the touching incidents). I thought I was detaining a wanted man in fairness,” she said.

It is understood that it was the same man originally arrested by police.

Police have commended the Shoezone staff’s actions.

A police spokeswoman said the press appeal yesterday was intended to entice witnesses to come forward rather than catch a wanted man.

She said: “At about 10.30am today, (Tuesday, 26 April), police received a call from staff at a shop in the Drapery, Northampton, about a man in the shop who they believed may have fitted the description of someone police wanted to speak to in connection with a number of incidents in the town centre.

“On arrival at the store, officers spoke to the man. No offences had been committed and he was allowed to go about his business.

“Information from the public is invaluable to police investigations and we would like to thank the staff for their support and for contacting police in relation to this incident.”

Officers would still like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed any incidents of inappropriate touching in the town centre over the weekend.

Witnesses or anyone with information about this incident can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.