"Stop, stop stop! Let go. What's your problem?"
Viral footage showed the moment a suspected shoplifter was stopped by a group of men teaming up.
The men, who appeared to be of South Asian origin, believed a man was trying to steal an item from a Costcutter in Stockwell, London.
They decided to intervene.
The suspected thief looked to be holding an item as he tried to leave the convenience store.
But he was pulled back by one man who grabbed his T-shirt and he threw a punch.
At that moment, two more men intervened and helped.
As they grappled with the alleged thief, one man punched him in the stomach.
When he was being restrained, the supposed thief shouted:
“Stop, stop stop! Let go. What’s your problem?”
One of the four men is heard asking: “Why? Why?”
Meanwhile, they hit the alleged thief. But he retaliated by punching one of them in the face.
The shopper who filmed the video gasped.
Things became chaotic as the alleged shoplifter was bundled into a display near the doors.
The physical altercation ended up outside, with the suspected thief falling over a box. He managed to escape and flee the scene empty-handed.
Happening in Stockwell a bloke was caught stealing.. pic.twitter.com/VdlxRSRJEs
— London & UK Street News (@CrimeLdn) January 4, 2024
On social media, the men’s decision to take matters into their own hands divided viewers.
Some praised them, with one saying:
“They should deal with him. No excuse for stealing.”
Another wrote: “Need to hand out this treatment more often.
“Shocking that people can just walk into a business, pull thousands of pounds of goods off shelves and walk out – no repercussions.
“They do this because it’s ‘allowed’.”
A third added: “Well done guys.”
However, others believed the men did not do enough to stop the alleged shoplifter as he ultimately got away.
One netizen said:
“If only any of them could punch.”
A user said: “5 on 1 and they still let him go? Weak men.”
Another highlighted the importance of grappling techniques in such situations, writing:
“This highlights the importance of learning basics in grappling.
“Don’t waste your time grabbing his clothes.
“Plenty of opportunities to get a bodylock, use your weight to stop him fleeing.”
One person pointed out that in the UK, many are resorting to stealing due to struggling to get food, posting:
“There is no excuse for stealing. But there is a crisis.
“A worldwide food crisis. We have precious little social cohesion in Britain today.
“Our social fabric is fragile. Fear for our futures.”