A HAVE-A-GO-HERO told today how a shopping trip turned into a drama when he tackled a thief in a busy town centre.

Brave Dr Ian Sedwell wrestled with the man after tripping him up in the street before pinning him to a wall and holding him until police arrived.

Dad-of-one Dr Sedwell, 49, said he had no hesitation about chasing after the sneak thief who grabbed a purse from a woman's handbag in Weymouth.

The drama began when Dr Sedwell, a mathematics expert who runs his own software design business, emerged from a shop in School Street and heard a middle-aged woman shout: 'He's in my bag!'

Dr Sedwell said: "I saw a woman across the street struggling with this guy.

"I shouted and the man ran off so I chased him. When he reached the pavement by the library I managed to trip him over with my foot.

"We struggled on the floor until he got up again. I was up quickly and held him against the wall.

"By that time the woman's husband arrived and helped me.

"I took the man to Lorelei Music in Great George Street where my friend works and he called the police. Another man, a prison officer who had heard what had happened, came in and stayed with us until the police arrived."

Dr Sedwell, who lives at Greenhill, Weymouth, added: "It certainly was an exciting morning. I did not hesitate in helping the woman, I'd like to think anyone would have done the same thing.

"I heard that the police recovered the purse, so that's good news."

Sgt Geoff Hicks praised Dr Sedwell for his efforts.

He said: "It was very commendable. It's not always the recommended course of action because the offender could be dangerous.

"However, it was because of Dr Sedwell's actions that this thief was caught and the purse was recovered."

Sgt Hicks warned that shoppers should keep valuables with them at all times and not leave handbags and purses unattended.

A 37-year-old Weymouth man is being questioned about the theft.