Dad recovers stolen goods: threatened with arrest

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Ingham

Joseph Ingham, a 32-year-old builder from Bridlington in East Yorkshire, turned amateur detective after his house was burgled. Within three hours he returned with most of the £3,000 of property taken from his home. So how did he do it?

And how does he compare to other have-a-go heroes in the headlines in recent months.

Detective

According to the Mirror, Ingham returned home to discover that his house had been burgled and over £3,000 worth of goods had been taken - including his daughters' BlackBerry Playbooks. He called police, but he didn't stop there, and he vowed to get his property back.

The Hull Daily Mail reported that he went to a local bail hostel to ask if anyone had been offered the goods. He paid £20 to a man who said he had been offered them earlier - and he got a name and address.

He went to the burglar's home, and found the thief's girlfriend at the property. She called her boyfriend, and Ingham told him that unless he returned the stolen goods he would ransack his home to find it. His girlfriend eventually retrieved it from under their daughter's bed.

The Mirror reported that the police were originally furious and told him he could face arrest for ruining their investigation. However, after Ingham appeared as a witness, 43-year-old Dean Spencer Harris from Cranbeck Close in Bridlington was jailed for three and a half years.

The judge said: "I may not approve of all his behaviour. The police are not able to use his methods, but at least he gave it a go."

Have-a-go-heroes

And he's not Britain's only have-a-go hero. In fact there are hundreds reported every year. Here are five of our favourites from the last few months

In July, a man holding what looked like an AK-47 machine gun tried to hold up a bank near London Bridge. He fled the bank, and passers-by gave chase, shouting at everyone else to get down. He was wrestled to the ground and later arrested. No shots were fired.

In June a 67-year-old from Edinburgh jumped on the back of a knife-wielding 16-stone robber - after finding him ransacking his property. The thief fled.

In September, a 66-year-old gave chase when he saw a burglar less than half his age coming out of his front gate in Morriston, South Wales. He called police during the chase - and kept up with the burglar for a mile before running out of puff. He said if he was ten years younger he'd have caught him.

In July a mother and daughter foiled two burglars in rural Oxfordshire. They had seen them driving slowly looking at houses, so they picked up a garden fork and followed them. When one of the men emerged from a house with stolen property, the women challenged them. One man drove off, and was stopped by police. The other ran off, and was pinned against a hedge by two other neighbours in their car until the police arrived.

Earlier this month a 23-year-old from Stourbridge was praised by police by stopping a thief from taking a Porsche. Two men had approached the car - one wielding a knife - stealing a bag of cash and demanding the keys from the woman driving. A 13-year-old boy saw what was happening, and flagged down a passing car. The motorist jumped out of his car, pulled one of the two men out of the Porsche and wrestled him to the ground. Both thieves escaped with the cash but were later arrested. The man and the teenager were hailed as heroes for rescuing the woman and her car.

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