POLICE have praised an Aldershot-based soldier who tackled a raider in a shop in Norwich.

Lance-Corporal Paul Malcolm, of 9 Parachute Squadron, Royal Engineers, turned the robber over to police after chasing him for 600 metres through the busy city centre.

The drama began when L/Cpl Malcolm and his fiancée were shopping in Norwich just two days before their wedding in mid-October.

"I saw a man run out of a shop being chased by a woman," he said.

"She shouted ‘stop thief, he's taken all my money'.

"I could see that she was pretty upset, so I just went after him.

"I didn't really think about it, it was just instinctive," said the 23-year-old soldier.

L/Cpl Malcolm told how the thief, who lifted almost £400 from the till, ran through a busy shopping centre and down the main road before he cornered the crook at a bus stop.

"I must have chased him for 600m. I kept shouting for people to stop him, but I think people were more confused than anything else.

"In the end, he didn't give me any trouble. A store detective had followed us and he escorted him back to the shop and the police."

It emerged later that the man was wanted by police for a string of offences across the Norwich area.

A senior detective from Norfolk Police later rang the L/Cpl Malcolm's commander to praise his actions.

A police spokesman later said: "It takes a great deal of courage to intervene in a case like this and chase a criminal, who may well turn out to be armed.

"L/Cpl Malcolm's quick-thinking prevented this man from getting away with a substantial sum of money. We thoroughly commend him for being so public-spirited."

This week L/Cpl Malcolm was back at his unit, which is on stand-by to be used as emergency firefighters in Hertfordshire and East Anglia should the fire strike go ahead.