BRAVE shopworkers rugby tackled a brazen shoplifter waiting patiently at a red light who rode off on a bicycle he stole.

Staff at Cash In Hand - a pawnbrokers in Queen Street, Colchester - were helping who they believed to be a genuine customer shortly before 5pm on Saturday who was negotiating the price on a pushbike.

But when workers were distracted he rode off down the road.

Unbeknownst to the thief, store manager John Watsham and another of his employees chased after him on foot.

Despite stealing the bike, the thief was waiting patiently at a red light at St Botolph’s Roundabout where Mr Watsham was able to tackle him to the ground and retrieve the stolen property.

“The gentleman came in and asked us about the bike we had for sale,” Mr Watsham said.

“He was in the shop for about 20 minutes and seemed genuinely interested.

“We were talking to see what we could to secure the sale but the bike happened to have a flat tyre.

“He offered to pump it up to see if it had a puncture or it was just flat.

“It was put back on the rack and we went to the tills to see what we could do on the price and then I just noticed him riding it out the store.

“So I just ran after him and started chasing him down the road.

“We went the whole length of Queen Street down to the roundabout - we were sprinting after him.

“As it was quite a busy day he could not get onto the path and had to stick to the road.

“He didn’t know we were chasing him.

“We caught up with him at the lights and just as he was about to move off I rugby tackled him off.

“He then got back up, looked at me and started to run off.

“I thought about chasing him again but after sprinting all that way I was just happy to have the bike back.”

Mr Watsham used CCTV of the man riding off and his own triumphant return to make a video set to Queen’s famous hit Bicycle Race.

It has attracted thousands of views after being posted online.

“I just wanted to show you can’t steal from us and get away with it - we will get it back,” he said.

“One the way back up five or six people spoke to me and congratulated us on getting it back - they said they didn’t think we would be able to.

“It was a good victory lap on the way back up.

“We have had a few problems with shoplifting in the past - but not too much recently.

“A lot of the heavier and more expensive items we now have chained down so people cannot just take them.

“We have also invested in our security system and the CCTV.”

Shop bosses have since reported the theft to the police.

No arrests have been made yet.