TWO 13-year-old girls chased shoplifters when they saw them stealing food from a store.

Carmen Shaw and Megan Hayes, along with four of their friends, raced out of the Co-op in Wigan Road, Deane, when they saw the men acting suspiciously.

They alerted the shop assistant and then chased the crooks, who had grabbed meat and put it in a bag.

Carmen, a pupil at Ladybridge High School, said: “We told the staff what was happening and then they ran out. Me and my friends started chasing them to see where they were going.

“We chased them for about five minutes We weren’t scared. We found one of them by some flats. If we had managed to get hold of them we would have waited until police got there.

“The men were running faster and faster. I think they were shocked.”

Dave Porter, aged 30, Carmen’s stepfather, from Westhoughton, said: “We are all proud of Carmen and her friends for what they have done and they have given really good descriptions to the police.

“It shows that there are good kids out there who want to do the right thing. She was a bit shaky afterwards, but excited as well. We are really proud of them.”

Bosses from the Co-op have praised the actions of the brave teenagers.

A spokesman said: “Two men were spotted stealing fresh meat by staff. The staff challenged the men, but they fled with the goods, and escaped despite being pursued by a group of children.

“No one was hurt in the incident, and while we thank the children, we would not encourage anyone to enter into potentially dangerous situations.”

Police confirmed two men stole meat including pork, gammon and bacon in the incident at 5.55pm on Thursday, January 30.

No arrests have been made.

One of the men is white, in his late 20s to early 30s, 5ft 7ins tall and average build. He was wearing a blue hoody with white stripes.

The second is white, in his 30s, about 5ft 8ins tall, with dark short hair and of average build. He was wearing jeans and a black and white baseball cap.