A SHOPLIFTER who stole a tub of sweets from a shop was hit and knocked down after doing a runner.

He stole the Quality Street variety chocolates from The Co-op convenience store in Brownlow Way, Halliwell, before fleeing.

However, he ran directly into traffic and was struck by a passing car, causing him to drop the confectionary and roll up the bonnet and smash the windscreen.

Vanilla Fudges, Toffee Pennies and a Coconut Eclair were left along with other wrapped chocolates scattered along the windscreen wipers and in a big mess on the floor.

The shoplifter broke his leg in the collision.

The Bolton News: The Co-op store in Brownlow Way, Halliwell, where the Quality Street theft took placeThe Co-op store in Brownlow Way, Halliwell, where the Quality Street theft took place

A worker at the store, who did not wish to give their name, said: "It was a prolific shoplifter.

"He comes in regularly, stealing meat all the time. He's an opportunist.

"I know he had just been told to leave the store and the female assistant had walked away.

"He looked through the window and he came straight back in, grabs some plastic boxes of Quality Street and has run straight out of the shop, across Brownlow Way, but this time he wasn't so fortunate.

"He missed one car and was hit by the second."

GMP's Road Policing Unit, which was called to the scene of the accident, tweeted about the episode the next day using the hashtag #VigilanteChocolate.

North West Ambulance Service sent a rapid response vehicle and an ambulance to the scene of the collision at just before 9pm on Monday.

A spokesman for NWAS said: "The call was received at 8.55pm on November 7.

"A patient was hit by a car and was bleeding.

"The patient, a male in his 30s, was taken to Salford Royal Hospital."