A would-be burglar was caught in a citizen’s arrest after attempting to raid Bolton Thai Boxing Club while instructors were inside.

Sandy Holt, owner of the boxing club in Brown Street, Bolton town centre, was shocked to hear loud thudding noises at a rear fire exit door while he, instructor Darren Morris and students were inside.

Mr Holt and Mr Morris went outside to discover two men trying to run away from the fire escape, which is on the third floor.

One of the men managed to get away, but a 24-year-old was caught by Mr Holt.

Mr Holt, aged 50, said: “I was in my full Thai boxing kit and had bare feet. I managed to apprehend one of the men and I asked him if he knew what the building was used for — he said he didn’t.

“I told him he was either lucky that he came across the most self-controlled person in the world or unlucky for being caught at a Thai boxing gym.

“I have always had a bit of a nasty temper, but doing martial arts has suppressed that.”

He added: “Looking back now, we could have both fallen from near the fire exit, which is about 40ft high. There’s too many scenarios to think about.”

The incident happened on Monday at about 8.40pm.


Mr Holt said he brought the suspect into his gym to await police, who arrived within minutes.

He said: “When I brought him into the gym I reminded him of Bolton Thai Boxing Club’s discipline and how no shoes are allowed on the training mats and in the boxing ring and he didn’t argue — he took them straight off.

“I don’t know how he did not know it was a boxing club as it’s the most signposted gym in Bolton.”

Mr Holt said he had never had to deal with any similar incidents in the past 25 years since opening the gym.

The man was arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary.

A police spokesman said: “Officers arrested a man following reports of him trying to gain access to a fire door at the top of a building.

He has since been released without further action due to insufficient evidence.”