Wednesday, October 15, 2008


It was an unequal chase: a 68-year-old grandmother against a teenage thief who had just run off with her bag.

The bag-snatcher had no chance.

Janet Lane was sitting on a park bench when three teenagers grabbed her handbag containing £100 in cash, her mobile phone, an umbrella, a first-aid kit and a present that she had just bought for a friend.

What the thief did not know was that Mrs Lane had won the Yorkshire cross-country championship as a schoolgirl in 1953 and had kept herself in shape ever since.

As he and his two accomplices ran away, Mrs Lane set off in pursuit, chasing them 100 metres across a park and into the grounds of a hotel. Despite wearing sandals, the 5ft 6in (1.68m) tall grandmother managed to catch up and grabbed one of the youths by the collar. The youth, aged about 15, dropped her bag and begged to be let go. All three escaped empty-handed.

Mrs Lane, a retired nurse, said: “Those boys saw a little old lady and thought I was easy pickings, but there was no way I was going to sit there and let them get away with it. I was so angry when they took it. I had been to collect my pension and I had water rates to pay with that money.

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