Kirkcaldy shop owner tackles thief in middle of street

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A shop owner who tackled a thief in the middle of a town centre street has appealed for witnesses to come forward.

Gillian Devine challenged the man after he stole items from her WR&P arts and craft shop on the corner of Kirk Wynd, and a physical altercation saw him smash the goods by throwing them on to the road. The incident happened on Monday afternoon and was caught on CCTV. Police are investigating.

The man, who used a crutch, was seen in the shop, and the owner’s suspicions were alerted when she noticed some goods were missing.

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Gillian said: “I rushed out and saw him going up Kirk Wynd. I shouted to a woman to watch my shop and and got close to him, and told him I wanted my stock back. He refused and then we got into a tussle. I grabbed the side of his jacket and he started to use his arm to push me away - he deliberately hit me, and he caught me with the crutch. He started shouting but I would not let go.”Gillian said there were witnesses to the incident in Kirk Wynd, and anyone sitting in the windows of the Robert Nairn pub would have seen it unfold.

The WR&P store on Kirk Wynd where the thief struck before being challenged (Pic: Fife Free Press)The WR&P store on Kirk Wynd where the thief struck before being challenged (Pic: Fife Free Press)
The WR&P store on Kirk Wynd where the thief struck before being challenged (Pic: Fife Free Press)

“Rather than give up and hand back the goods, he started throwing them down and just smashing them - that was even more frustrating.” she added. “I was determined to get them back.”The man eventually made off, and Gillian returned to her shop where several fellow business owners came to offer their support. She is now checking her store’ CCTV and surrounding cameras and speaking to police about the incident.

“Thanks to everyone who came to check I was okay - there is a growing community of independent business owners round here and it is lovely to see everyone supporting each other.”The WR&P shop was closed on Monday afternoon following the incident, but re-opened the following day.

A police spokesman said: "Around 2.45pm on Monday, we were called to a report of a theft and assault in the High Street area of Kirkcaldy. Enquiries are ongoing."

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