Thief escapes in Pirie with silver rings worth $600

THEFT: Shopkeeper Ian Prosser stands beside one of his display cases at Leading Edge Jewellers in Ellen Centre. He confronted a thief who stole items worth $600.
THEFT: Shopkeeper Ian Prosser stands beside one of his display cases at Leading Edge Jewellers in Ellen Centre. He confronted a thief who stole items worth $600.

A jewellery shop owner has told how he confronted a man who allegedly stole six rings from a display case in Ellen Centre.

Ian Prosser said he was alerted to the theft by a nearby shopper and followed the man to another shop in Norman Street.

He said the man had given up three of the rings and allegedly tried to punch him before being restrained by another man.

The man had then escaped with three other sterling silver rings worth more than $600.

Police investigated what they called a possible shoplifting incident and assault. A man was charged on Friday.

Mr Prosser said the drama had begun when the man entered Leading Edge Jewellers on Wednesday to ask for a gold watch and chain to be put "on hold" for him until he got paid.

"I put them in the hold box and he was seen going to the front of the store to open a cabinet to steal the rings," he said.

He said a shopper in the centre had alerted him to what had happened.

Mr Prosser said he and the shopper had then confronted the man in the nearby shop and recovered three of the rings.

"He said I was embarrassing him," Mr Prosser said.

"As he went to throw a punch, a man walked behind him and grabbed him around the waist to stop the punch and told the man to calm down.

"It was all over in a matter of minutes."

While Mr Prosser was talking to police on the shopper's mobile phone, the man escaped and reportedly caused trouble at another shop before disappearing.

"I hope he gets caught ... I don't want him to terrorise any other shopkeeper," he said.

Sergeant Jye Klusky encouraged any witnesses to the incident to contact police on 8638 4000 or attend the police station.

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