Have-a-go heroes including Household Cavalry officer tackle 'prolific' thief

A fleeing burglar was caught red-handed when his escape was blocked by a fitness trainer, a building crew and a Household Cavalry officer.

Major Simon Deverell, squadron leader of the elite Army unit, whose duties include guarding the monarch, was among the group of heroes praised by police for bringing “prolific” thief Ronald Middleton to justice.

The 40-year-old, whose father is former Nato commander General Sir Jack Deverell, was walking his young daughter to nursery in Parsons Green when he saw two men arguing.

He told the Standard: “Suddenly one barged past the other, hopped on a bicycle and cycled towards me at speed.

"The other man shouted out ‘stop him, he’s a thief’, so I made myself as big as possible, tackled him with my shoulder and stopped him in his bicycle tracks.” 

Major Deverell, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, added: “On reflection it may have been silly, as I didn’t know if he was armed, but I just reacted.

"But I didn’t do anything I wouldn’t expect anyone else to do.”

As Middleton, 48, fell to the ground, the other man, Dan MacKenzie, a 31-year-old personal trainer, caught up with the pair and restrained the thief while Major Deverell dialled 999.

Mr MacKenzie had confronted the thief moments before after seeing him coming out of a house with a laptop under his T-shirt. He said: “When I saw the man go into the house and I wasn’t thinking about him having a weapon, it was instinct to confront him. It was obvious that he had been inside stealing. I don’t feel like a hero, it was the right thing to do.”

Major Simon Deverell helped tackle burglar Ronald Middleton

Mr MacKenzie, who has returned to his native New Zealand, added: “Having worked in Parsons Green for a few years I came to know many of the residents, and it’s a great area. I’m glad I could help.” 

Hero Dan MacKenzie said he was glad he could help out 

Witnesses said a group of local builders then stepped in when Middleton bolted and climbed the wall of a school. At Isleworth crown court on December 3, Middleton, of Parsons Green, was jailed for three years after pleading guilty to residential burglary on May 14. He was also ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge. Parsons Green Pc David Williams described Middleton as a “prolific burglar” and thanked those who “showed bravery” and intervened.

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