WILTSHIRE Chief Constable Patrick Geenty chased after a shoplifter in Chippenham today.

The chief tweeted: “Just chased a shoplifter up Chippenham high street (off duty). Goods recovered, crime recorded but he outpaced me, must be getting slow!!!”

He was in the high street when he realised what had happened and gave chase. The thief eventually gave abandoned the stolen goods.

Teased by Insp Brian Clifford that he would probably have been a bit faster if the thief had been carrying a rugby ball, he admitted: “I think it was the 30 year age gap, still he will come again.”

Mr Geenty, who made an arrest in Devizes eight months ago, won praise from other officers for his effort.

Pc Si Lardner tweeted: “As a PC we love the occasions when a high ranking officer (especially the Chief) gets stuck in on the ground. Great tweet Sir.”

Peter Kirkham also pointed out: “Imagine what life will be like when we have 60+ year old PCs ... & perhaps suggest it’s a bad idea!”