A schoolgirl has been hailed a heroine after her quick thinking action stopped a would-be car thief in his tracks.
Caecey-Jai Bates, who is just 10, sprang into action when she spotted a man trying the door handles of several cars from her bedroom window in Wellhouse Square, Barnoldswick.
She ran downstairs to tell her mum, Hollie Prior, who immediately went outside to investigate what was happening.
And her brave actions have earned Caecey-Jai praise from the police, residents in her hometown and her school.
Hollie said: “Caecey-Jai was just looking out of her window when she saw the man going round every car and trying the handles.
“She thought it didn’t look right so she came downstairs to tell me.”
Hollie (30) ran outside and confronted the man who was sat in the vehicle of one her neighbour’s cars.
The mum-of-three approached him while other neighbours rang for the police who arrived on the scene and arrested the man.
Hollie, who works as a childminder, added: “He was messing around with items in the car but he seemed very disorientated and intoxicated and was talking about getting himself home.
“We managed to keep him there until the police arrived and took him away.”
The incident left Caecey-Jai upset and guilty at first about what had happened until Colne and West Craven Police thanked her on their facebook page which prompted an avalanche of over 1,000 comments from people praising the little girl for doing the right thing.
Hollie added: “She was already upset because her daddy, Michael,was working away from home for a few days so when this happened it made things worse because she wasn’t sure if she had done the right thing or not.
“So I told her how she had done exactly the right thing and how proud we are of her. The comments on social media praising her have been amazing and have really made Caecey-Jai see she did the right thing.
“This is a very close-knit little community where we live and we all know each other and help each other out all the time.”
Caecey-Jai’s tears soon turned to smiles when she arrived at Barnoldswick C of E Primary School to be presented with a certificate of thanks and bravery. And then neighbour, Chris Henstock, whose car the offender was found in, went round to thank Caecey-Jai personally and present her with £20.
Hollie, who also has two sons, Caleb (five) and three-year-old Louis, said: “Chris said he was really grateful to Caecey-Jai as she had saved him a lot of hassle and she also received a phone call from her dad to say how proud he was of her and a text from her uncle Lee in South Africa.”
Here is a selection of the facebook comments praising Caecey-Jai.
Anne Carpenter: “A very Merry Christmas to a very sensible young lady and her family for knowing what is right and wrong and having the courage to speak out. Santa will be delighted.”
Michael Holmes:”No need to feel guilty at all but be very proud of yourself. You know what’s right and what is wrong and we adults can be proud of our young adults of the future.”
Cath Neary: “Well done young lady. You should feel so proud of yourself. Such a grown up thing to do. If only more people would be as grown up it would save a lot of upset for others. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Also to the police who came and took the naughty thief away.”
Katie McCredie: “ Well done again little lady! You’re a credit to yourself and parents, and I bet could almost certainly teach some of the older boys and girls a lesson in good behaviour.”
David Gwynne:”Well done young lady, you did something very very good. Your Mummy and Daddy will be be happy for what you did. Have a Happy Christmas.”
Beverley King:”Well done young lady. There are a lot of people who are scared to report crimes in this country. You and your parents should be proud.”
Daniel Cracknell:“Parenting done right! Brilliant read and a very brave little girl.”
Peter Woodhouse: “Well done young lady. Your actions has saved a lot of people from having a lot of not necessary troubles. You have helped make your town safer. Happy Christmas.”
Heather Sheldrick:”She is a star and a shining example to others. Well done, lass!”
Lynda Sherfield:”Sometimes doing the right thing can be hard, so well done and I’m sure Father Christmas is also very proud.”
Dean Luxon-Robinson:”Criminals thinking of targeting Barnoldswick....beware! Well done young lady.”
Tracy Fallows:”Well done young lady, if only there were more people like you. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.”