On my way to work I paused at the W.H. Smiths (newsagents), in Victoria Station, browsing the magazines I was weighing up whether to buy Mobile Home monthly or Performance Bike – the kind of dilemma that often faces a chap of a certain age. As I crouched over magazine rack I saw a member of staff stop a man a few metres outside the shop, on the station concourse. She asked him if he had anything in his bag that he hadn’t paid for. The middle aged man that was smartly dressed- like a commuter, perhaps a business man – said no. The shop lady ask to look in his bag. The man suddenly bolted.
It was like a gazelle that had caught sight of a lion. His demeanour switched in a split second from calm consumer to fleeing prey.
The shop woman turned shouted “Brian” and ran after the shoplifter. A second later a young man – presumably Brian – ran out of the shop and joined the pursuit. I was hoping to see what happened. If cornered how would he respond? Kicking out with his powerful hooves or play dead. I put the Mobile Home monthly back in the rack and wondered towards the tube.