Manchester mobile phone thief forced to hand back their handset


This is the moment the ‘worst thief ever’ was forced to hand back a phone after he discovered the shop door was locked. 

The man then decided to make his getaway by bus – only to be photographed by the shopkeeper as he stood waiting at the stop outside the shop. 

Manmeet Singh, who owns Urmston Mobile Tech, in Urmston, Greater Manchester, claims the man came into his shop on Wednesday demanding to see the new iPhone 12 Pro Max. 

The thief tried to run away with the phone but was foiled by the door which locks automatically

Mr Singh said he didn't have the new iPhone but showed the man a Samsung A21S

Mr Singh said he didn’t have the new iPhone but showed the man a Samsung A21S

The thief handed back the phone and fled to a bus stop outside the store where he was photographed

The thief handed back the phone and fled to a bus stop outside the store where he was photographed 

When the Mr Singh, 35, explained he didn’t have it in stock, he then offered a Samsung A21S, but after the customer asked to hold the device, he spun on his heels the moment he got hold of it and tried to rush out of the door. 

However footage shows the hooded man grab the door handle to discover he is trapped inside by an electronic lock, forcing him to sheepishly return the phone to his intended victim. 

In a further blow, the would-be thief was forced to stand and wait for his bus directly outside the shop, while Mr Singh watched on in amusement – even going outside to take photos of him. 

Mr Singh, from Partington, Greater Manchester, said: ‘He was the worst thief ever.

‘As soon as he started running, I said “you can’t go anywhere”. I told him, even if he walked out, I would have caught him by walking. That’s how slow he was. 

‘I found it funny, more than anything. I was just standing there because there wasn’t any point doing anything. 

‘After he gave me the phone, I said “don’t come back again”.’ 

Mr Singh had grown suspicious when the unknown man began rushing him and ‘tapping on the counter’ for him to hurry up.

Mr Singh said: ‘He came in and said he wanted the iPhone 12 pro max and that he wanted an expensive phone. 

Mr Singh, pictured, said he did not report the attempted theft to police as they had failed to attend other theft at his store in October 2020

Mr Singh, pictured, said he did not report the attempted theft to police as they had failed to attend other theft at his store in October 2020

‘I told him I didn’t have that, then he just said “which phone do you have with three cameras?” 

‘He was talking really fast like he was trying to rush me along. He was tapping on my counter. 

‘I showed him the one in the box. It was the Samsung A21S. They were £160. 

‘He said “can I hold it?” I thought I’d just show him without taking the plastic off. It didn’t look like he was going to buy it. 

‘When I handed it him, he just started running, but I have an automatic lock on the door so he couldn’t run away. It’s an automatic lock that I have control of. 

‘When he was pushing the door, I thought he might break it. I tried to come out of the counter, then he just came back and returned the phone. 

Manmeet Singh, left, was dealing with a customer seeking the new iPhone 12 Pro Max at Urmston Mobile Tech, in Greater Manchester

Manmeet Singh, left, was dealing with a customer seeking the new iPhone 12 Pro Max at Urmston Mobile Tech, in Greater Manchester

‘He didn’t say anything. He was left moping out the door and he was standing at the bus stop. 

‘He had to wait for his bus outside the shop.’ 

While Mr Singh is hoping for future information, he admits he is yet to report the incident to the police as they failed to attend a similar incident when his own phone was stolen in April 2020.

Mr Singh said: ‘I didn’t report to the police because last year someone ran off with my phone. I had a CCTV camera and the footage, and they didn’t even turn up to look who did it. They just said they’re too busy.’ 

Greater Manchester Police said they were unable to comment on the Wednesday’s incident however confirmed they had received the report of last year’s theft from the shop too. 

A Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said: ‘In line with GMP policy when reports are made to us, we make an assessment on how best to respond based on the threat, harm and risk posed to the public. Incidents are then attended and responded to in line with our grading system. 

‘On this occasion following an assessment of the threat, harm and risk posed and demand on the force, officers were unable to attend.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk