Caroline Ridley has been given the gold award at the National Police Public Bravery Awards for her actions in tackling the robber in Walton-le-Dale.
The armed robbery happened on November 8, 2017, at the Londis shop on Severn Drive in Walton-Le-Dale.
A man carrying a large knife entered the store and demanded money from a staff member.
Fortunately, he dropped the knife allowing the staff member to run out of the store and ring police from a neighbouring shop.
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The would-be robber, using another large knife, cut the wires to the shop’s till before running off with it.
A member of public, outside the shop, saw the offender run off and began following him before stopping a passing motorist, Caroline Ridley, and asking her to follow the offender in her car.
Caroline followed him to a nearby wood where she left the safety of her car and chased him into the woods.
She tackled the offender to the ground before attempting to drag him back towards the road in the hope of returning him to the shop.
However, the offender, who was still brandishing the large knife threatened to kill Caroline if she did not let go.
On seeing the knife, she released him; however, she managed to retain a bag containing the stolen money from the till.
Caroline’s actions were critical to the investigation as it created the continuity from the robbery location to the woods, where officers subsequently found discarded clothing that directly led to the early identification of the offender. Forensic opportunities from the discarded items secured an early guilty plea from the offender in court.
Caroline’s actions and bravery, with little regard for her own safety, went far beyond what could be reasonably expected from a member of the public.
Following a guilty plea, the offender received a six-year custodial sentence.