Have-a-go hero pensioner’s knife thug struggle

A pensioner has revealed his attempt to stop a knife-wielding burglar in his home. Picture: Police Scotland
A pensioner has revealed his attempt to stop a knife-wielding burglar in his home. Picture: Police Scotland
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A PLUCKY pensioner has described how he jumped on the back of a knife-wielding robber during a terrifying encounter in his home.

The 67-year-old bravely tried to stop the armed burglar from escaping despite being warned at knife-point: “I swear I’ll stick this in you.”

The OAP was eventually thrown off by the curly-haired 16-stone robber,. The thief fled from the home in Gilmerton Road with a haul of expensive jewellery and, bizarrely, seven new pairs of Slazenger socks.

The victim, who asked not to named, said he had tackled the suspect after being angered by his “audacity”, and appealed to anyone who knows him to contact police. He said: “I’d been out at the doctors and was only away for about 30 minutes. When I came home I heard someone rummaging around in my bedroom.

“I thought it was my neighbour’s wife because they’ve been helping me since I broke my ankle a few months ago and they have a key. Then this really big guy suddenly came into the hall carrying a black bag. He was very distinctive looking with black thick-rimmed glasses like Ronnie Corbett. He was very calm and just said he was looking for someone called ‘James Mc­Martin’. I said, well you won’t find him in my bedroom.

“He tried to push past me and I grabbed him by the jacket lapels. I grabbed for his bag, which I could see was full of stuff, and he pulled out the knife and said, ‘I swear I’ll stick this in you.’ It was a flick-knife, about six inches long.

“He moved it towards my chest and I stepped back to more than an arm’s length away. He went towards the kitchen, obviously to get out the back door, and I jumped on to his back with both my arms wrapped around his neck.

“He swung me about like a rag doll. He was a powerful guy and must’ve weighed 15 or 16 stone. He managed to throw me off and got away. The whole thing was over in minutes.”

Following the incident at around 5.15pm on Wednesday, the robber made off towards Moredunvale Road before 
turning into Moredun Park Gardens. The pensioner quickly shouted for his neighbour and the pair scoured the Mordeun area in a car to find him but he had disappeared.

The victim added: “He got away with jewellery from my bedside cabinet but I think I surprised him when he had only been inside a few minutes. He even took seven new pairs of Slazenger socks I had just bought so he might’ve been grabbing anything.

“It may have been in the lap of the gods that he didn’t use the knife, but I was just angry at his audacity to come into my home like that. I’d do the same again tomorrow. I genuinely hope that he’s caught before he can go after someone who might not be able to defend themselves.”

The suspect is white, around 30 years old with a large, heavy build, pale complexion and dark curly hair. He was wearing dark baggy clothing and white trainers.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “This was a terrifying experience for the homeowner. The stolen items are of great sentimental value to the victim and we are conducting local inquiries to identify the individual responsible for this theft.”

alan.mcewan@edinburghnews.com