Big Issue Vendor

Hero Big Issue vendor helps police dispense sweet justice after break-in

Seller Dai has been hailed after he disturbed alleged thieves at Pennyworths sweet shop in Truro and guarding the shop until police arrived

Heroic Big Issue vendor Dai is hoping for sweet justice in Truro after he halted a break-in at a confectionery shop.

The seller, 56, heard two people smash a window at Pennyworths sweet shop in the city at around 11pm on January 27.

Quick-thinking vendor Dai disturbed the alleged crooks who scarpered with only a large box of candy cables and a few other sweets.

Dai, who is known to his regulars as “The Fish” following his former occupation as a fisherman, said: “I was sleeping in an alley not far from the sweet shop when I heard a glass smashing at around 10.45.

“I got out of my sleeping bag and went to have a look and saw two boys who ran away. There were two dog walkers who stopped too so they called the police while I stood guard for about 35 minutes until the police arrived.

“The boys who broke in came back with balaclavas on to get more stuff but I didn’t go. I pointed to the CCTV camera and they ran away. I was taking no chances.”

Pennyworths shop worker Philip Pearce told The Big Issue that Dai’s intervention was crucial in minimising the impact of the crime.

“We were immensely grateful that the vendor was around at the time of the break-in,” he said. “It was a big help that he was able to disturb the people who broke in to the shop because if he hadn’t been around to intervene and help contact the police then it could have been a lot worse.”

Dai, who has been selling the magazine outside Malletts in Truro’s Victoria Square for two months, was rewarded with £20 from Pennyworths’ owners for his heroic efforts.

“I have been on the streets since December 3 in Truro and everybody knows everyone,” he said. “The Big Issue has been brilliant to allow me to talk to people and network and will hopefully help me resolve my situation very soon.”

The Big Issue’s Devon and Cornwall sales and operations team leader Steve Carter said: “If Dai hadn’t intervened in the middle of the break-in then it could have been a lot worse.

“He has already had a big impact since he started selling The Big Issue and if he continues working as hard as he has done then he will soon be off the streets.”

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesperson said: “A 15-year-old boy from Truro was arrested on suspicion of theft, he was later released under investigation pending further enquires.

“Enquires are ongoing at this time.”

Image: Steve Carter