A VALE of Glamorgan Council employee has been praised for his vigilance after reporting a suspected theft at Colcot Sports Centre to the police.
Nathan Connell heard noises coming from behind a locked changing-room door shortly after a football team had left to play their match. He was also suspicious of an occupied car with its engine running in the car park.
After confronting a man who had exited through the changing room fire door, Nathan made a note of the car registration number he departed in. Later it was revealed items had been taken from the football team, though a bag containing more of their belongings had been left inside the centre.
The police are hopeful of making an arrest in relation to the incident meaning Nathan might well have foiled a serious crime. Local policing inspector Robert Miles said: “This was an excellent response by the member of staff concerned who acted as soon as his suspicions arose. He spoke to the suspects and took details of the vehicle registration.
“We are continuing our investigations, have identified a suspect and are confident that we will be able to make an arrest.”
Nathan explained what he believes happened and why his suspicions were aroused.
“It looks like the person responsible entered through the fire door and hid in the toilets until everyone went to play the match then came out,” said Nathan.
“I went outside and a car had its engine running and was causing an obstruction. The woman inside said she was waiting for her partner, who had gone in to meet a friend.
“I could hear noises coming from inside the locked room.
“Eventually I confronted the person and asked what he was doing. He said he’d got locked in by accident.
“That could well have been true so there wasn’t much I could do. He came out of the centre into the car park and the car drove away.
“Then we found out that the changing room door had been forced open.
“I made a note of the car registration number and later passed that on to the police.
“One of the guys who played for the team said he was really grateful because afterwards they found a bag containing clothes and trainers belonging to the players.
“They had been left in the centre. If they’d been taken things could have been much worse.”
Cllr Gwyn John, Cabinet Member for Visible, Leisure and Regulatory Services, said: “Nathan’s quick-thinking has enabled the police to promptly address this unfortunate situation. He has clearly prevented this incident from being far worse than it could have been. It is important that community activities such as football be played in a safe, secure environment and members of staff like Nathan make a significant contribution to ensuring this is the case.”