PCSO’s tale of the ‘tortoise and the hare’ results in arrest for vandal

Jubilee Gardens, in Ely.

Jubilee Gardens, in Ely. - Credit: Archant

A 24-year-old man was arrested for criminal damage after being caught spraying graffiti by a police community support officer.

The man, from Ely, was spotted by neighbours spray-painting the walls of Jubilee Gardens, off Broad Street, on Christmas Eve and was quickly reported to police.

PCSO Jonathan Hall was first on the scene and arrived in time to find the man still spraying graffiti on the walls.

PCSO Hall said the 24-year-old was “surprised” to see him and quickly fled the scene.

“What happened next I can only describe as the fabled tortoise and hare story. The suspect ran along the river past the Cutter, and along the river footpath toward the A142 bridge,” said PCSO Hall.

“I must say various people obviously guessed what was going on, and as they passed me, informed me of the route he had taken.”

PCSO Hall called for assistance and another officer arrived from Soham to help track the man down, which eventually led the pair into the city’s branch of Tesco, in Angel Drove, where he was arrested.

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“His reply was not very merry, and he appeared not to be happy about seeing me again, not sure why. The loss of his prized aerosols also did little for his Christmas cheer, what a shame,” added PCSO Hall.

The man was also charged with possessing a class B drug and was bailed by police to appear at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on January 23.