B&Q staff praised for handling teen thief

Published:  07 June, 2010

GALASHIELS: B&Q store staff were praised in court last week for their handling of a teenage thief who threatened staff with a stolen hammer.

Jedburgh Sheriff Court was told that the 17-year-old had activated the security alarm at the B&Q in Galashiels as he left with electrical goods and a hammer.

Tessa Bradley, prosecuting, said two members of the store's security staff had been suspicious of Mr Johnston and gave chase up a hill when, three times he threatened to hit staff with the hammer.

Miss Bradley said: "The security staff were not put off and one of them took him to the ground and managed to get the hammer off him."

Mr Johnston appeared from custody and pleaded guilty to charges of theft and possession of an offensive weapon on May 28.

Defence lawyer Mark Harrower described it as a "concerning incident." He said that Johnston of Carlin Court, Tweedbank, had carried out the theft to fund his heroin addiction.

Sheriff Peter Hammond deferred sentence until June 28 for background reports and also a restriction of liberty assessment.

Mr Johnston was released on bail with a special condition not to enter B&Q in Wilderhaugh, Galashiels.

A B&Q spokesperson said: "The safety of our colleagues is of the highest importance and while we would never recommend putting themselves at risk, we are very proud that the swift response and bravery of a number of colleagues led to the arrest of this shoplifter.

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