Teen hero: 13-year-old chases down and tackles alleged thief in North Vancouver

Thomas Bayer, 13, tackled an alleged thief in North Vancouver. Global News

A 13-year-old North Vancouver teen is being hailed as a Good Samaritan after chasing and tackling an alleged thief on July 14.

Thomas Bayer was with friends at a Lynn Valley strip mall Friday afternoon when he heard a woman screaming. Next thing he saw was a man, carrying a bag, running away from an SUV with a smashed window.

Bayer, who is six-foot-one and 180 pounds, chased down the man to a flower shop on Lynn Valley Road, tackled him and wrestled the bag out of his hands.

“I heard the lady scream, so I ran across the road, chasing the guy who was running away with the bag… and I grabbed him by the shoulders and kicked down his knee and wrestled the bag out of his hands,” Bayer said.

“When I heard the lady scream it was just sort of an instant reaction. I saw something happening and just took action.”

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The thief, who is described as a scruffy-looking man in his 40s, escaped. Bayer called police and waited for them to arrive.

Bayer said the victim was happy to get her bag back; which had food and supplies for her pet gecko.

“There was a Macbook Pro I think in there, a whole computer thing, yet he grabbed that bag,” Bayer said.

While North Vancouver RCMP say Bayer’s actions were brave, they also said he should have left the pursuit to them.

“Whatever is in the backpack isn’t worth getting hurt over, so certainly my biggest concern would be the safety of the public,” North Vancouver RCMP Sgt. Dough Trousdell said.

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