Jun 8 2011 by Gordon Robertson, Airdrie & Coatbridge
David Brown, Margaret Donaldson
A HERO pensioner came to the rescue after a thief broke into an elderly neighbour’s house.
Brave David Brown (71) caught the robber red-handed as he climbed out of a back window at 83-year-old Margaret Donaldson’s home in Anderson Lane, Airdrie.
The incident happened at around 6.30am on Sunday as David returned from an early-morning errand.
The intruder had tried to make off with Margaret’s purse, rings and a locket that belonged to her mother.
But David was having none of it and grappled with the man, forcing him to drop all of the items before he got away.
He said: “I had just got home after dropping my daughter off at the airport and I heard Margaret’s alarm, so I went round the back of her house and saw this guy climbing out of the window.
“I thought ‘he is not getting away with breaking into an old woman’s house’ and pinned him to the wall.
“I told him to drop what he had but he refused.
“I banged him against the wall to make him drop the items and he did. He fell over the bins and then he ran away.
“He came back with a stick and challenged me to a fight.
“By then all the neighbours had heard what was going on and came out.
“Some were out in their dressing gowns and pyjamas and chased the lad away.
“They did well and chased him all over the town.”
Margaret expressed her gratitude to her neighbours and especially David, who, with wife Anne, has lived next door for 30 years.
Some of the items the thief attempted to steal from Margaret hold great sentimental value including her mother’s jewellery.
She said: “Everyone was very good and I would like to thank them for what they did.
“The boy’s mother even came down to apologise for what happened.
“Two of the rings and a locket he had belonged to my mother and couldn’t be replaced.
“I am really grateful for what David and everyone else did.”
Margaret called Airdrie police who scoured the area looking for the culprit.
A police sniffer dog was involved in the manhunt and a suspect was eventually found hiding in bushes near St Andrew’s Hospice.
An 18-year-old man was due to appear at Airdrie Sheriff Court this week in connection with the incident.