A bungling thief was left red-faced after he tried to make off with £1,600 worth of mobile phones but couldn't escape the store - because the door locked behind him.
The young male had attempted to flee the Phone Market in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, with two phones - but staff had remotely locked the doors after he entered.
Staff said the man began swearing and returned the phones after realising he was trapped, claiming it was his friends’ idea.
They decided to let the man go as they were concerned he could become violent or cause damage to the store.
Shop owner Afzal Adam, 52, called the police, who said that it was not a priority as the man didn’t actually steal anything.
Afzal had installed a mechanism that allowed staff to lock the doors from behind the counter in 2020 for about £250 - which ended up being well worth the money.
He said: “With people wearing masks and balaclavas, I was worried about not being able to identify anyone if they did steal from my store.
“He would have gotten away with £1,600 worth of merchandise, so the mechanism has paid for itself!
“After I had the owner of another local story come in and ask what mechanism we had as they wanted the same.”
Afzul has owned Phone Market for 24 years and has never had an incident like this before.
He sent the video to a family Whatsapp group, where it was then shared to Facebook in the hopes of identifying the man and immediately began to go viral.
Afzal described that the response has been totally overwhelming, but it has also been largely positive.
He said: “99.99% of the comments have been saying well done and commending our forgiveness.
“Some people have been asking ‘Why didn’t you beat him up?’, but we would never do that.
“I hope I have showed people what humanity is - there’s more to the story than this and if we had acted out. It would just have been another story of violence.
“People who do things like this, they do it for a reason - they could be under-privileged, etc.
“If you are just kind and support people, you’d be surprised what comes of it.”