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Have-a-go hero Mike Stubbs chases and stops shoplifter John Johnson after he flees from One Stop Shop in Sonora Fields

By Hayley Robinson

A serial shoplifter is starting a prison sentence after he was stopped in his tracks by a have-a-go hero.

Mike Stubbs stopped to grab a bottle of water at the One Stop Shop in Quartz Way, Sonora Fields, when he noticed a coffee jar drop from the bottom of a large black coat worn by a man walking past him.

He said: “I thought ‘that’s a bit odd’, so I tried following him to see what he was doing.

Mike Stubbs spotted the thief acting strangely at the One Stop Shop in Sonora Fields

"I think the woman by the counter clocked what he was doing because she locked the door, then she opened it to let some customers in and he pushed her and ran out so I just chased him.”

Moments later the pursuit came to an end 100 yards away on the lawn of nearby properties.

The 26-year-old, who lives on the estate, said: “I cornered him and said ‘don’t even think about moving’.

“He kept saying ‘sorry mate, please let me go,’ and tried handing me what he had got in his coat. I told him to take it off which he did, and he put it on the floor.

"He said he was only taking it because his dad was in hospital and he was trying to raise enough money to go and see him.

"I told him he shouldn’t have done it and that he needed to face the consequences.

Mike Stubbs has been hailed a hero after chasing John Johnson and holding him until police arrived

“It felt like forever, but the police turned about 15 minutes later.”

Officers arrested John Johnson, of Meads Avenue, Quinton, following the incident at about 1pm on April 21.

"I told him he shouldn’t have done it and that he needed to face the consequences" - Mike Stubbs

The following day the 43-year-old appeared before Medway magistrates charged with four counts of shoplifting.

The court heard how he stole chicken, cheese and coffee worth £78 from the store on Easter Monday and cheese and chicken costing £93 from the same shop on March 30.

He also stole deodorant from two shops in Sittingbourne High Street on two separate occasions.

The first theft took place on March 15. The second lot, worth £117.56, was snatched on March 20.

Johnson was sentenced to a total of 188 days behind bars, which also took into account a further offence during the period of a suspended sentence and re-sentencing for an original offence.

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