Quick-witted guards foil charity pot thief

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A TEAM of quick-witted security guards used their initiative to catch a crook who had stolen money from the Poppy Appeal.

Guards Stephen Keane, Dave Bradley and Dale Wood worked together to catch immoral thief Steven Slezak, of Wellington Street, after he stole a collection pot from County Hall reception on November 7.

The theft was discovered at 5.30pm that day when receptionists realised that the collection pot was missing.

At 6pm, the formidable threesome started their shifts and began sifting through the day’s CCTV footage – hoping they might find a lead.

The footage showed Slezak, 38, enter the County Offices reception at around 2.30pm, conceal the collection pot under his jacket and quickly leave the premises.

Stephen Keane said: “We couldn’t believe that somebody would be low enough steal from the Poppy Appeal but unfortunately none of us recognised the thief.”

However, the guards were about to receive a stroke of luck when Stephen Keane had to head to the county council’s lower site.

Stephen said: “I was driving down Bank Road and I saw the thief walking up the other way. I was 100 per cent it was him.”

Stephen immediately called his colleagues to inform them of the sighting.

At this point, Dale Wood began following Slezak up to his home address while Dave Bradley remained on site.

Once Dale saw Slezak enter his home address he made a note of his address and informed police.

Despite Slezak not being at home when police showed up, they arrested him shortly after and charged him with theft and possession of a controlled substance.

Slezak appeared before Chesterfield Magistrates last week where he pleaded guilty to the charges against him. He will be sentenced on December 5.