Grateful staff present theft stopping rugby player with £1,595 watch

JPCT 310713 S13311717x Presentation for Peter Downes at TH Baker -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 310713 S13311717x Presentation for Peter Downes at TH Baker -photo by Steve Cobb

A Horsham man who rugby-tackled a man who had taken watches from a town centre jewellers was presented with a watch worth £1,595 and thanked by staff on Wednesday.

Peter Downes, 42, took matters into his own hands on Friday, July 12, by stopping a man fleeing TH Baker in West Street.

He was invited back to the store by company director Phil Higgs, who thanked Peter for his actions and gave the rugby player a new Tag Heuer watch, whilst complimenting the ‘impressive’ intervention having witnessed it on CCTV.

Peter explained that some of his family in Ireland had heard about his exploits, and added that his young son is still excited about it.

He said: “The watch is very nice - I am very grateful because it wasn’t necessary.

“Everyone has been very supportive. I have had a bit of flak from the guys at rugby but that is okay.

“We need a sponsor for next year, and they have been asking me to get TH Baker as our sponsor!”

Mr Higgs, who came especially to the Horsham store to meet Peter, said: “It was very kind of him to step in and apprehend the gentleman - it saved us quite a substantial insurance claim.

“We just really appreciate it and we thought it would be nice to say thank you with something he can keep.”

The County Times reported on Thursday, July 18 how Peter was with his daughter Lily-May, two, when he heard a cry of ‘stop thief’ from TH Baker manager Dominic Toomey.

Peter tackled the man and, with the help of fellow passer-by Matt Lewis, restrained him until police arrived.