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Sunglasses thief stopped by Maidstone Core Gym owner Jay Atkins in Vision Express

By William Janes

A bodybuilder bravely stepped in to stop a shoplifter in his tracks as the crook tried to steal several pairs of sunglasses.

Jay Atkins, owner of Core Gym in King Street Maidstone, was in Vision Express in The Mall on Monday when the would-be shoplifter walked in.

As the shop assistant went to the back of the store the thief began pilfering a sunglasses display causing Mr Atkins to turn to face him.

Gym owner Jay Atkins stopped the thief in Vision Express
Gym owner Jay Atkins stopped the thief in Vision Express

"It all happened very, very fast," said the 44-year-old.

"The lady took my glasses to the back to make some adjustments and the man came in.

"He emptied the sunglasses rack – it was quite brazen.

Realising he had been spotted, the thief raised his finger to his mouth as if to say 'don't say anything.'

"I stood in his way and he started to panic and said he was just trying them on but there were about 20 pairs of sunglasses in his hands," continued the weightlifter.

"Naturally, I own the gym so I’m quite a big lad."

The thief tried to take sunglasses from Vision Express in The Mall in Maidstone
The thief tried to take sunglasses from Vision Express in The Mall in Maidstone

"It was one of those things where it all happens so quickly, it’s fight or flight really."

Police arrived shortly afterwards and to reward Mr Atkins for his bravery, the optician offered him a 10% discount.

Danny Aspill, of no fixed address, was charged with thefts at two shops in Maidstone.

Appearing at Medway Magistrates' Court via video link on Tuesday, October 9, the 37-year-old pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eight weeks behind bars.

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