Wolverhampton thief 'dies' after citizen's arrest

Two men have told how they made a citizen’s arrest on a prolific car key burglar after spotting him rob a woman – only for the thief to die three days later in hospital.

David McTaggart, 29, was detained by two tree surgeons in Stafford Road, Wolverhampton, after grabbing a woman and taking her bag.

The police were called to the scene, near the junction of Church Road opposite Oxley Moor Road, at around midnight on October 16 last year. However the thief became unresponsive and officers performed CPR while waiting for paramedics. He was taken to New Cross Hospital but died three days later.

One of the men who held McTaggart – who was one of the most prolific car key burglars the region has ever seen – was tree surgeon Patrick Healy.

Giving evidence at the Black Country Coroner’s Court, he described how he and two colleagues were driving towards Wolverhampton around midnight when they saw a robbery taking place and pulled over. Mr Healy said:

“My colleague Michael Jones stopped the van and me and Martin (Pitt) jumped out. The lad was running towards us. He turned around and was running back towards where the incident had been. He spun again back to us.

“I can’t quite remember what I said. I probably said ‘stop what you are doing.’ He seemed like he was a bit panicked. At this point Michael came out of the van and grabbed the lad.

“There was a bit of a scuffle and he got him down to the floor. I came across and I tried to help keep him still. He was face down and I had my arm across his shoulders. He was trying to get away.”

Mr Jones said: “I was trying to see if he had a weapon. Initially, I kicked out at him under the armpit. We were grappling and scuffling. I grabbed him by the shoulders and pushed him onto some shop shutters. He lost his balance and fell to the floor.”

Mr Healy added McTaggart had been aggressive at first but that his resistance diminished as they waited for police.

He said unemployed McTaggart, of nearby Greenwood Road, Wolverhampton, was still speaking when the first officer arrived after around 10 minutes. The police then took over the scene and handcuffed McTaggart.

The thief came to public attention in 2010, when it was revealed how he had stolen high performance cars worth £265,000 from the Black Country and Staffordshire.

The inquest, which features a jury, continues and is set to last all week.

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