The team that stopped a thief who stole a purse from an elderly woman in Oswestry have said: ‘We’re not heroes’.

Morrisons employee Mark Jones was coming to the end of his shift a couple of weeks later when he spotted two men walking into the Oswald Road store.

His actions, along with deputy manager Tom Shields and other staff members, led to the arrest of the pair who were wanted on suspicion of stealing a purse from 87-year-old Sarah Gittins while she shopped in the Aldi store on Beatrice Street in Oswestry.

Catalin-Mihai Verea was convicted at Telford Magistrates’ Court last Tuesday, while a warrant was issued for another man, Florin- Iulian Banjanaru, after he failed to appear.

Mr Jones, 40, told the Advertizer: “I recognised them instantly from the Aldi CCTV footage – they were even wearing the same clothes.

“I spoke to Tom and  we went to the front of the store.

“I was on the phone to the police and we had to make a decision whether to let them go or whether to stop them.

“But there was no way they were getting away because they could go from the shop and we didn’t know where they might go and we might not get another chance to stop them.”

Mr Jones, who was previously a store detective and volunteered with Oswestry’s CCTV scheme, said: “I couldn’t believe they were there.

“There were other people who recognised them, too.”

Mr Shields added: “Luckily I’d got pictures of them on my phone and we matched them up.

“There were a lot of people about watching, as you can imagine.”

The shop workers played down their role – and that of the store security guard – in the arrests after people took to social media calling them ‘heroes’.

Mr Shields said: “This crime was a big thing for Oswestry so yes, it feels fantastic to have helped in the arrests.”

Mr Jones said: “I would hope that because are such a small community anyone would have done what we did because it could have been anyone’s relative who was involved.

“It was a real team effort – but I did feel pretty good afterwards.”

He added: “It was a despicable crime.

“I just couldn’t believe the excuse given in court. If it had happened to any elderly woman she might have died – it was lucky she is such a strong-minded person.

“I honestly thought maybe the sentence would have been prison for a short period of time, but obviously the magistrates decided community service would be a better punishment.”