A LOCAL police officer has put his day off on hold to step in and arrest a woman allegedly stealing from a shop in Hare St on Thursday.
A police spokesman said the officer observed a woman allegedly taking items from a display stand outside the front of a shop.
“When spoken to by the off-duty member, the woman attempted to walk away, denying she had taken anything,” the spokesman said.
“As she moved away she was followed on foot and by chance a local uniform patrol was passing the spot at the same time,” he said.
“The police vehicle was left in the Hare/Pakenham streets intersection, blocking traffic and enabling the on-duty members to quickly assist in the arrest of the female.
“When arrested, the female allegedly lashed out, striking the off duty member in the face but luckily causing no injuries.”
The spokesman said the stolen property was recovered and returned to the store.
A 34-year-old Echuca woman will face court at a later date via summons for allegation of theft and unlawful assault.
“There was a funny finish to the episode, when the off-duty member moved the marked police vehicle to let blocked vehicles pass, several onlookers to the incident yelled out to the uniform members that somebody was stealing their car,” he added.
“Obviously not the case – but it was good observation by the public who had the presence of mind to speak up.”