Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Criminal photography

Or how I chased a teenage boy down the street after he harassed a woman at a cash-point.

I was on my way to the Walrus bar in High Street Manchester with gorgeous girlfriend Anna Byrom. We stopped off at a row of cash-points opposite Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester. It was about 7.30pm. Very busy.

While I was at one cash-point and Anna was at another attempting to take out £30.

As she used the cash-point a teenager, part of a suspicious-looking no-good gang hanging around, pushed into her while waving newspaper in her face. Anna pushed him away. 
He lent back into her and pressed the £200 button as she made her withdrawal.

I was unaware of this until she came over to me. The cheeky bastard teenager went and sat down in a bus shelter facing the bank. An elderly man then approached us saying that the teenager had got the PIN number.

I was having none of this and thought that, if her bank account was too be emptied, I should at least have a photo of the culprit to hand over to the police so they can produce 500 'Wanted' posters. Or something like that.

Slowly, I took my weapon from my bag and attached my flashgun. Quickly, the harassing teenager became a harassed and legged it up the road.

I set off in pursuit. He darted across the road. I sprinted after him. He weaved in and out of our stunned audience. I followed, gripping my camera tightly.

Picking up speed in the dramatic chase, I came round the side of a set of telephone boxes to meet him head-on. With my lens cover already removed I click-clacked him with flash.

He burst into tears.

It wasn’t the reaction I was expecting.

At this point I did not know what to say. Instead of asking him what he was doing I told him, ‘You’d better be careful, you’. This wasn't a scripted encounter.

I then left him to his tears. On my way back to Anna several people asked me what he had done. I told them, though I am still not sure what scam her was attempting to pull-off. Don't they usually just snatch the cash from the hands of pretty girls? Or is the old man in on the crafty plan?

Either way, no-one got any money from Anna and when we told two policeman further down the road what had happened and they asked for a description, I was in full self-satisfied mode as I showed them the makeshift mugshot on the back of my camera.

PICTURED: The pushy teenager I chased through the streets of Manchester.

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