Bus driver and pal foil hammer raid on bookies

Steven Millar with Chief Supt Shaun Donnellan
Steven Millar with Chief Supt Shaun Donnellan

BUS driver Steven Millar leapt to the rescue when he saw a man wielding a sledgehammer in a Wigan bookmakers.

Steven jumped from his vehicle and together with passenger Colin Faulkner rugby-tackled the would-be thief to the ground and detained him until police arrived.

Now the two have-a-go-heroes have been recognised for their extraordinary actions.

The heroic pair were honoured at the Wigan Police Awards ceremony for showing outstanding bravery.

Bus driver Steven, 37, was on route between Wigan and St Helens when he noticed a man approaching the William Hill bookmakers on Ormskirk Road, Newtown, carrying the weapon. He jumped from his bus and with the help of Colin, who was on his way home from work, attempted to stop him.

Steven, who lives in Up Holland, said: “I saw him walk into the shop with the sledgehammer and vault over the counter.

“I called the police and pulled my bus up so that the CCTV could video him but by this time he had come back over the counter and was on his way out. I passed my phone to someone to keep talking to the police and went out. Myself and Colin didn’t speak, we just went out together.”

Steven and Colin confronted the man and managed to back him into a corner outside of the shop. They then tackled him to the ground, took the sledgehammer and detained him until the police arrived.

Colin, 40, who lives in St Helens, said: “I wasn’t really thinking about my own safety, I was more concerned for the staff inside the shop. That’s why I confronted him and said he wasn’t going to get away. He paused for a moment and that’s when I grabbed the hammer. Then Steven stepped in and grappled him to the ground. It was just instinct really.”

Gracious Steven said: “I would like to hope that anyone would have done the same in my position. Just right place, right time I guess. I’m not a hero, lads fighting in Afghanistan for their country are heroes.”

Leisa Byers, William Hill North West Operations Manager, who accompanied the pair at the awards ceremony, said: “We are just very grateful Steven and Colin stepped in to help as it was a traumatic incident for the two staff who were working at the time, although they were not injured. It is a good boost for the community that the person was stopped.”

A Police spokesperson said: “As a direct result of their intervention, a man was arrested and charged. Without a thought for their own safety, the pair tried to stop the male who was hammering on the cashier’s glass with the sledgehammer and they detained him until police arrived.”