SOMEWHERE NEAR A CROP CIRCLE IN ENGLAND - When a fleet of fast police patrol cars isn't available, there's always a very odd chance that the trusty combine harvester might be around to go after rogue criminals.
A trio of Englishmen stopped gun-wielding burglars who robbed a village post office in North Yorkshire, England, around 12.45 p.m. on August 11, according to Jan. 15 online post in the Mirror.
Tom Harland, a farmer; Simon McCluskey, a postman, and John McDonagh, a concerned and brave citizen, hunted down Andrew Waldron, 22, and masked sidekick Joseph Crosby, 50, after the thieves, armed with an air pistol, stormed the Hinderwell Post Office near Whitby, North Yorkshire. And presumably, the main vehicle used by the heroes to apprehend these crooks was a large agricultural monstrosity that is used to harvest grain.
York Crown Court heard that Waldron brandished a P17 air pistol at Postmaster Mike Bunn's head while Crosby demanded a bag be filled with cash. Meantime, Bunn's distressed wife, Christine, was working behind the counter with her husband at Hinderwell Post Office, North Yorkshire, the Mirror article says.
Postmaster Bunn managed a quick and stealthy duck into a back room and he grabbed a pick-axe handle, but the robbers had already made their escape. The miscreant rogues wore balaclavas and made a run for it down a street near the post office, the Mirror article reads.
Postmaster Bunn told York Crown Court officials that he and his wife, who are both in their 60s, initially thought Crosby and Waldron had come in dressed in gloves and balaclavas as a "joke, but in bad taste", according to the Mirror.
Crosby and Waldron told officers they carried out the robbery to pay back a large drug debt, the article adds. Crosby told officers that the dealer they owed money to was the getaway driver, but he has never been caught.
Waldron admitted to both offenses, while Crosby denied possessing the firearm, but was found guilty of the offense after trial, the Mirror article continues.
Concerned citizen McDonagh, who was visiting the local area with his partner, followed the pair in his car and managed to restrain Crosby with the help of Harland and McCluskey (who reportedly and presumably used a combine harvester in this chase), as reported by several U.K. news sources.
Waldron was found hiding in bushes by another villager who held him down until police arrived. Defendants Crosby (of Stokesley, North Yorks), and Waldron were charged with attempted robbery and possessing an imitation firearm, the Mirror reports.
Crosby told officers that the dealer they owed money to was the getaway driver, but he has never been caught. Postmaster Bunn said he and his wife have suffered sleepless nights, nausea and flashbacks since the raid. The court heard the robbery had a "huge impact" on the whole village. Crosby, who has previous convictions for theft, fraud and smuggling, claimed he had no idea a gun would be used. However, during his trial, the Court heard that Crosby passed the weapon to Waldron on their journey to the post office, according to a Jan. 15 article in The Yorkshire Post.
Waldron was jailed for six years and Crosby was sentenced to 11 years in prison, The Yorkshire Post article reported.