Man and his dog foil Stansted bag snatchers

James Goodge and his dog Akira

James Goodge and his dog Akira - Credit: Archant

THEY might not look like your regular crime-fighting duo but when a woman’s handbag was stolen on a Stansted Express train, this man and his pet pooch sprang into action.

Giving 1980s crime-busting double act Turner & Hooch a run for their money, James Goodge and his dog Akira, a 10-month-old Siberian Husky, hounded down the two bag snatchers in front of a stunned carriage of rail passengers at Stansted Mountfitchet station.

The pair quickly gave up the handbag when confronted by Mr Goodge, 28, from Stansted, who told the Reporter he had his ‘best friend’ to thank for stopping them.

“She’s not really an intimidating dog but does have wolf-like features which I think scared them off,” he said.

“If it had been just me there it would have been two against one and they could have run past me, so Akira definitely made the difference.”

Mr Goodge, an air ventilation engineer, had been out walking his dog over the May Bank Holiday weekend when he heard shouting coming from a train in the station.

He saw two men in hoodies, believed to be in their early 20s, running from one of the carriages and a young Japanese woman shouting “they’ve stolen my bag”.

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“The adrenalin started flowing and I just thought I’m not going to let this sort of thing happen right in front of me,” Mr Goodge said.

“Akira and I chased them down and I shouted ‘you better give that bag back’. I think they were a bit shocked I’d confronted them and just handed it over to me.”

Passengers on the train witnessed the drama unfold and Mr Goodge was greeted with rapturous applause when he handed the bag back to its owner.

“She was crying and gave me a big hug. Obviously, she had pushed the emergency stop button when her bag was taken because the train was still there and the driver was checking over all the carriages,” he said.

“I believe she had her passport in the handbag, too, because she was on her way to the airport, so I’m just glad I could get it back for her.

“It was nice to get a round of applause from everyone. My girlfriend and the rest of my family weren’t too impressed when I told them, though – they were worried I could have got myself hurt.”

A British Transport Police (BTP) spokesman confirmed officers were investigating the attempted theft

He said: “Investigators will be speaking to witnesses and reviewing CCTV from the station and the surrounding area to establish the full circumstances.”

Anyone with information should call BTP on 0800 40 50 40.