a SHIPLEY councillor has been hailed a hero this week after he helped stop a thief stealing three champion racing horses.
Amber Valley borough councillor Alex Stevenson was waiting at traffic lights in Codnor in his Land Rover when a horsebox containing three chariot-racing horses was driven away by a thief.
The two owners of the horses who were nearby jumped in Cllr Stevenson’s car pleading with him to pursue the culprit as he sped off down the A610 in Codnor.
The Shipley ward councillor gave chase without thought and followed the crook as he headed into Langley Mill before the thieves pulled up by industrial units on Park Hall Lane.
He then fled on foot, with the councillor and the two owners in pursuit, but managed to escape.
The two horse owners had been returning from a race meeting in Kent, and had stopped in Codnor to pick up a takeaway, when the thief struck, jumping in their Ivec lorry and speeding off.
They were overjoyed to get the prized horses worth thousands of pounds back, said Cllr Stevenson this week.
He said: “I would do it again without question, you just have to think quickly if you are doing the right thing at the time.”
He continued: “It all happened in slow motion really, I just wanted to catch the person that was stealing them.
“Thankfully it all turned out okay in the end. The only problem was we didn’t catch the guy who stole the horsebox.”
Cllr Stevenson’s wife Julie was three cars behind him at the traffic lights when she saw the two men enter the car.
She called police, fearing her husband been the victim of a car jacking.
But as the drama unfolded, Cllr Stevenson spoke to police and explained what was happening, with officers sending a car on to the A610 to meet the councillor, but the thief stopped before they reached it and fled.
The thief is described as white, in his 40s and wearing a hat, blue jeans, a dark jacket and having an Irish accent. He was still at large this week
Anyone with information should contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.