Ex-Military LAD Uses Training To Catch The Men Who Burgled His House
Many in the armed services hope they never have to use their training outside of their work. In the case of Gareth Gingell, it was a necessity.
The 30-year-old Intelligence Corps worker, from Stoke-On-Trent, used his skills to catch the burglars who broke into his home after the police failed to act.
His work helped to identify Michael Henderson, 25, and Shawn Doolan, 32, who had broken into his house and stolen a mountain bike, vacuum cleaner, television, console and £250 cash.
Gareth only realised he had been robbed when the police knocked on his door to say his Kia Sorento had been involved in a collision in a nearby street.
Checking CCTV, Gareth noticed he'd been burgled three times, at 3am, 4am and 5:45am.
"When the police first came to my house I was still in my pyjamas and didn't have a clue what had happened," Gareth explained. "All they said was a car crashed into other cars so they assumed, or thought, it was me. I then realised we'd been burgled."
Knowing the first 24 hours were crucial, Gareth spoke to residents and rough sleepers and was able to identify the route the fleeing robbers had taken.
It led him to an alleyway where he spotted a sock puppet he uses to help soothe his three-year-old daughter, and a bag of clothes he believed belonged to the offenders.
Also down the alley was one of the offenders, who was confronted by Gareth despite wielding a knife.
The heroic ex-Army man disarmed Henderson and then restrained him in a garden, asking passers-by to call the police.
Doolan was later spotted in the area with a bandaged risk - as sustained in the burglary.
Both men pleaded guilty to the offence; Henderson jailed for three years and four months, while Doolan got one year less.
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The now IT worker, who lives with his wife, Liana, has revealed how his training, including personal safety and how to handle public order, after six years in the army helped him.
"I knew the police didn't have the resources they use to and I know the area and decided to go out and see what I could find out."
Coolly, when confronting Henderson in the alley, Gareth saw him check his phone so asked him, "Is it burgling time?".
"He saw the puppet in my pocket and must have realised he'd been in my home," he added.
"He took something out of his pocket, either a knife or a screwdriver and I knocked it out of his hand and got him on the floor.
"I know how to detain someone from my training and was able to use reasonable force and ask the people around to call the police."
The police had previously explained to Gareth that they were 'under-resourced' which made him question their 'half-hearted' approach to the investigation, facing 'delay after delay'.
Gareth said: "Although we were obviously left upset by this, my family and I have come out stronger.
"My wife didn't know me when I was in the Army, she just sees this IT worker, so now she believes me about the military."
Intelligence corps, according to the British Army website, 'collect information from a range of sources and evaluate, analyse, integrate and interpret this information to inform the commanders decision-making process'.
A job description brief reads: "The Intelligence Corps provides commanders with this confidence [to execute operations] through the maintenance of constant situational awareness and intelligence to support their decision-making process, whilst at the same time protecting our own operations from hostile interests."
Sounds like 'detective' Gareth was certainly well qualified for the work he did.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS