A martial arts teacher says he ‘channelled his inner Liam Neeson’ to catch the man who stole his pregnant wife’s car and have him arrested.
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Imran Farooq, 33, spent three days tracking down the thief with the help of friends and social media. Once he had tracked him down, he chased the man, who was carrying a baseball bat at the time, and restrained him until police arrived.
The martial arts gym-owner told Metro:
I don’t mean to big myself up but I am a hero. I’m pretty certain if I didn’t catch this dirty little rat he would have seriously injured someone or even killed someone.
I would just liken it to Liam Neeson in Taken.
It’s like that line “I will look for you, I will find you and I will kill you.”
Obviously I wasn’t going to kill him because why would I want to incriminate myself? But I really set about getting justice.
“I don’t mean to big myself up but I am a hero” – what a line! Love it. He’s right too – the police aren’t going to put in such a concentrated effort to find one single car thief and so who knows how many other potential victims Imran has saved from going through a similar experience as his pregnant wife?
Imran’s wife Rachel had her handbag, car keys and Volkswagen Polo stolen during the incident. Imran called the police and posted on Facebook groups asking for sightings of the missing car, which also contained the only copy of the couple’s 12-week ultrasound scan. I mean talk about adding fuel to Imran’s fire!
Amazingly, people commented that they had seen the thief driving the car all over Counden, in Coventry, West Midlands.
Apparently the car was mounting the pavements. That’s when I decided I was going to catch it. I was furious. There were a lot of sentimental things in there including our only copy of the 12-week scan of our daughter.
Rachel was pregnant at the time and had already been signed off work for stress so we were really worried about losing our baby girl. Word got around and I had friends phoning me telling me they had seen it.
Everything I was told I was feeding back to 101. The police were actually after him at the same time for driving the car recklessly so we were all on the road hunting for this guy.
I put a post on the local Facebook groups just to see on the off chance if someone had come across it and within minutes I had people messaging me saying they almost got knocked over by it.
The dad-of-three followed up on the sightings and came face-to-face with the thief. He described thinking:
That’s my freaking wife’s car, I’m going to get you.
As he was about to jump out of his own car and confront him, the thief spotted him and ‘without looking or anything just reversed the car as fast as he could onto a main road’.
Imran followed him, lost him and managed to spot him again but decided it was not safe to try and keep up with him. He said:
I wanted to catch him for sure but at the same time I’m human and don’t want to die. It was like God was giving me a chance to catch him and I had screwed it up.
Undeterred, Imran got his chance the next day when he parked and waited for the man to drive along a main road he had been spotted on often. When the thief spotted Imran’s car he shat himself, sped down the road and flipped his car. Lol.
I went to see if he was alright but then the dirty little rat crawled out of the window and started coming at me with a baseball bat. He ran off but luckily I’m well trained so I got him. He was trying to spit and bite me like a dirty little rat.
I grabbed him, sweeped him under his feet to get him to the floor then turned him round on his front.
Obviously I teach that stuff so it’s second nature. So you have that mixed with me wanting to get justice for my family and the community and the fact he kept slipping through my fingers before.
I’m a big guy and can handle myself which is fortunate. I had him pinned down and told passersby to call the police. My adrenaline was through the roof.
The man who stole the car, Patrick Cawley, was handed a 12-month sentence for dangerous driving, driving with no insurance and driving without a license at Warwick Crown Court. He was not convicted of burglary or theft in relation to the incident, which is weird, but no more details forthcoming.
Amazing stuff by Imran Farooq channeling his inner Liam Neeson there. Taking the time and effort to identify and locate your nemesis and then patiently waiting for the right moment to pounce and achieve retribution on behalf of your wife and unborn child. Yeah OK he only really caught the guy because the thief was stupid enough to drive like a maniac down the same roads every day and ended up flipping the car while speeding, but still. It’s Imran who put him in a position to make that happen.
What a legend. Great work Imran – keeping Coventry safe!
To watch a hero in his underwear fight off a crew of home invaders with a sledgehammer, click HERE. What a rush!