Brave duo honoured for catching armed robber

First published in News

TWO heroes who stopped a would-be armed robber have been honoured for their bravery.

Firefighter Dan Winters and Tony Crompton, who was a passer-by, were presented with bravery certificates by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue’s County Fire Officer Steve McGuirk at a ceremony held in Bolton North Fire Station.

The two men have already been awarded The Chief Constable’s High Commendation at a police awards ceremony last month.

Firefighters from Bolton North Fire Station were refuelling an engine when they noticed a man acting suspiciously as he ran out of the post office in Lea Gate, Harwood, at about 4.30pm on Friday, August 3.

Firefighter Winters said: “A woman with a baby in a pram and another woman came running out, all the alarms went off and then a man came out wearing a gorilla mask.

“He looked around, I think looking for his getaway car but I assume we’d scared them off with the fire engine.

“Our driver put the blue lights and sirens on and I jumped off the engine and chased him.

“I caught up with him at the same time as a Tony — we pinned him down and took his mask and what we thought was a gun off him.” The gun turned out to be two pieces of pipe taped together.

Mr Crompton had also seen the man run out of the post office.

He said: “I am happy to be recognised for what we did on that day, although I just reacted to the panic of the people running out of the post office.

“My adrenalin came from my anger that someone was committing a crime in my own area and I reacted on impulse.

“Once Dan and myself caught up to the robber and restrained him, he didn’t really struggle, he seemed to be resigned to the fact he had been caught.”

CFO McGuirk said: “I’m proud to recognise the outstanding actions of Dan and Tony, who both demonstrated great courage that day with little regard for their own safety.

“Their selfless actions have also been commended by the chief at Greater Manchester Police and the judge as the would-be robber Kris Whittaker was sentenced to five years at Bolton Crown Court in October.”

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