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Caught Bread Handed

 

Updated : Jul 29, 2009

A Dublin bakery employee who bravely tackled a thief after he caught him stealing bread from his van has been hailed a have-a-go hero.

Mihai Stugaru, who delivers bread for the famous Bretzel Bakery in Portobello, pursued the bread thief, who lashed out at him when cornered.

Romanian-born Mihai took the law into his own hands as he pursued the raider last Thursday.

At 5.45am Mihai was loading the van for his first delivery, when he noticed a group of men across the road, drinking beer.

According to the Herald Newspaper a few moments later, he discovered that a bread order destined for a gourmet food shop in Enniskerry was missing.

Mihai was suspicious, but remained cautious. However, when the men realised he was observing one of them, they got into a car and drove off. Mihai's co-workers became concerned for him after receiving an early morning call from a staff member.

Shop owner William Despard said: "I got a phone call off our packer, Tony, who was slightly panicking. He said that a bag full of bread had gone missing and the driver Mihai had too.

"Turns out Mihai had noticed that a bag had been taken from the back of the van. He had seen a few drunks across the road earlier, and saw one of them get into a car. With no hesitation, he decided to follow the car on a hunch."

Mihai didn't want to let down his customers and went in pursuit of the car, which stopped a few hundred yards down the road. The quick-thinking delivery driver managed to block the vehicle, leaving the thief no escape route .

Mihai then bravely got out of his van and confronted the thief.

While attempting to stop the man escaping, Mihai suffered minor injuries to his arm. However, he still managed to dial 999.

"He pulled the driver out of the car, and managed to hold him there, until the gardai arrived on the scene," said Mr Despard.

Mihai told the gardai his priority was to get back to the bakery and finish his deliveries.

Mr Despard said he would not advise his employees to take such risks, but he much appreciated the extraordinary loyalty shown by Mihai.

"Mihai is a strong guy, and didn't want to leave his customers short. It was probably a stupid thing to do, but he wanted to get all of his deliveries out on time," he said.

Kevin Street garda station said two men have been arrested in connection with the incident.

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