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From Bok legend to crime-fighting hero as Jean de Villiers chases down shoplifter

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Johannesburg – There was a thief pondering his bad luck after he was caught shop-lifting by fleet-footed former Springbok centre Jean de Villiers in a Paarl shop.

According to News24, the former Springbok captain was in The Boer and Butcher when he noticed a man pocketing sweets and then leaving the shop without paying.

Store owner Edu Hanekom said  De Villiers and his wife Marlie are regular customers and they were waiting to pay for their goods when De Villiers saw the man helping himself to sweets.

When he did not pay for them, De Villiers followed him out of the store and then yelled at him to stop, at which point the thief took flight.

A screenshot from CCTV cameras which caught the chase on video.

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The 41-year-old De Villiers gave chase and there was only going to be one winner, and the thief was brought back to the store and handed over to a security guard.

De Villiers said: “When I said ‘hey’ he looked around and started running. Then I just said to myself ‘I must also run now and I chased him across the road towards Home Affairs, with my slops and sunglasses coming off.

“There is always a queue at Home Affairs and he bumped into a guy and I was able to secure him.

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Hanekom was grateful to the 109-Test Springbok.

“We are very grateful for Jean’s actions. It was quite a thing when a former Springbok captain arrived with a thief,” she said.

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Screenshots from CCTV cameras clearly show De Villiers in pursuit of the man.

The incident occurred on January 23.

IOL Sport

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