Essex jewellery theft video: I stepped in to help police detain £30k thief after spotting him resisting arrest

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Watch footage above as member of the public assists PC Ryan McNamara in detaining Happer on the ground.

Dramatic police bodycam footage shows the moment a member of the public stepped in to help an officer detain a jewellery thief. James Happer, 51, had stolen gold and diamond earrings, rings and a bangle worth £30,970 from a jewellers’ display cabinet.

PC Ryan McNamara was out on patrol when he heard shouts of “Stop! Thief!” The officer can be seen in the video stopping and arresting Happer as he attempted to run away. A have-a-go-hero passer-by is seen assisting PC McNamara in the arrest after noticing Happer resisting.

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Passerby helps police officer arrest £30,970 jewellery thief.Passerby helps police officer arrest £30,970 jewellery thief.
Passerby helps police officer arrest £30,970 jewellery thief. | Essex Police

Police say Happer punched PC McNamara in the face and tried to use his PAVA spray against him. However, the officer was able to use the spray to incapacitate Happer. The incident happened near Finery and Co jewellers in Saffron Walden in Essex on March 7 2024.

Happer, of Longcroft Rise, Loughton, admitted burglary and assaulting an emergency worker by beating. He was given an 18-month jail term suspended for 18 months. This includes a drug rehabilitation requirement for six months, a rehabilitation activity requirement for up to 25 days and 19 sessions in a thinking skills programme.

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