Athletes give chase to jewel thief


A bungling thief who thought he had got away with a €1,000 bracelet from a jeweller’s shop didn’t count on the staff being marathon runners who caught him less than 200m from the premises.

“He picked the wrong shop to rob with two athletes in it,” said Stephen Ralph (28), who, as well as designing custom-made engagement rings, is also in training for the Dublin City Marathon.

Working alongside him was Bryan McCrystal (31), currently the Irish Triathlon Champion. Both men have also competed in Ironmen challenges involving racing, cycling and swimming.

Mr Ralph served the man when he went in to Baldwin’s jewellers in Dundalk and said: “He seemed 100 per cent genuine. He knew he wanted a bracelet and he had a good look at what was on display.”

He was shown a tray which included one bracelet full of charms which was valued at close to €1,000.

“He lifted this full bracelet and looked me in the eye and said ‘thank you’ and ran out the door. He had a hard neck,” said Mr Ralph.

Mr Ralph and Mr McCrystal gave chase.

Staff had already rung the Garda and they arrived on the scene within minutes and arrested the culprit.

A Garda spokesman confirmed that a 36-year-old local man had been arrested and a file was being prepared for the DPP.