https://www.cornwalllive.com/news/cornw ... es-2323238
James MacDonald called 999 as he chased the postal van which had been stolen at knife-point
A hero Royal Mail manager has saved Christmas after he chased a stolen postal van full of presents.
The van was stolen at knife-point on Wednesday in Mullion on the Lizard peninsula – which only has one major road back to Helston.
As the manager was heading down onto the Lizard to check on his shocked member of staff, he was stunned to see the stolen red van coming in the opposite direction.
Swinging his car around in the road, James MacDonald chased the offender back towards Helston while he called 999.
James, 29, said: “I got the call from my post officer around 3pm that someone had stolen his van. I jumped in my car to drive down there.
“There’s only really one road out of there and I saw the guy in the van coming in the opposite direction. I swung round and chased him. I was in my private car. It’s a black BMW so he might have thought it was an unmarked police car.
“He was swerving and overtaking. He must have realised he’d been seen. I am on the phone to 999 giving them street names.”
He said he chased the stolen van back into Helston and into the Trengrouse Way public car park.
“He pulled into the Budgens’ car park and we locked eyes,” he added. “He then drove away again.”
James was surprised to discover that the offender headed next to Helston's Royal Mail delivery office, where he dumped the van in the car park at the rear of the building.
"He was blocked in. I think he tried to do a runner but the police arrived at that point and jumped on him,” added James.
“I must say that the vehicle was recovered with all its contents. At the end of the day, it’s people’s Christmas presents. I didn’t want any to go missing.”
He said the staff member whose van was stolen was a little shocked by the incident but unhurt.
“This isn’t something that occurs regularly and especially not down here in Cornwall,” James said. “If it wasn’t for me following him, he might well have got away. It’s so bizarre that he headed back to the Royal Mail yard but at least we got everything back.”
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: "There was a report of a post office van which had been taken by a male offender with a knife. One man is now in police custody and the vehicle has been recovered. Nobody was injured."
A Royal Mail spokeswoman added: "We can confirm a Royal Mail vehicle was stolen yesterday. Fortunately no one was hurt and the vehicle was recovered. The police arrested a man and we are helping them with this incident.”