THE quick thinking of northside councillor Tom Shortt ensured a Polish national got her stolen bike back.
Farranshone mother-of-three Anna Krol-Banda was in Polski Sklep in Nicholas Street, buying some groceries, when she emerged to find her bicycle missing.
Looking up the street, she saw a brazen thief heading towards the traffic lights on the bike. Shaken, Anna began to shout, and run after the thief.
She ran past Cllr Shortt’s car as it approached the traffic lights.
Quickly realising she was not going to catch the thief on foot, the Labour councillor told Anna to jump in, so they could pursue him together.
And thanks to his knowledge of the local area, using back roads, they succesfully chased the man down and recovered the large red mountain bike.
“I acted instinctively, I acted spontaneously. She knew she was not going to pursue the thief on foot, and that a car was going to be a bit quicker,” he said.
As the cyclist broke a red light, and went the wrong way down the one way system in Mary Street, Cllr Shortt predicted he would end up in George’s Quay.
So, using backroads, he navigated his way down there, and caught sight of the bike, with the robber standing with his back to it just yards away by the river.
Keeping quiet, the pair recovered the bike, and put it in the councillor’s car without alerting the thief.
He then returned Anna - a translator by profession - to the shop to finish her shopping.
Anna, who has lived in the city since 2005, was “touched” by Cllr Shortt’s gesture, saying: “I did not know he was a famous guy, and his brother was a comedian. It was more that I took action, and it triggered action in him: I was very lucky I came across him,” she said.
But the robbery has left her feeling “angry”.
“I don’t think you can explain why someone would do this. In other countries, it might be due to poverty. My message to him [the thief] is to find something else: It is down to showing respect for someone else’s property,” Anna told the Limerick Leader.
Cllr Shortt said he was glad he intervened.
“I know you have to be careful about getting involved in situations. But there is a line where you should give to support to someone. She was a fairly gutsy kind of girl: she wasn’t letting him off without a pursuit,” he said.
He concluded: “She was fantastic to put up a fight and pursue him. Between the two of us, by acting quickly, we got the bike back.”