Celebrity PR Agent Turns PI...

And so the stuff of films hits Ealing streets

A celebrity PR agent turned PI to swoop on the man who hours earlier had stolen her laptop in a gripping twist of events that is usually reserved for the big screen.

Last month the 29-year-old, who represents stars like Emma Bunton, Gareth Gates and Ian Wright through her returned to her home in West Ealing from work to find that her computer had been stolen.

"I was devastated," she said. "It's not the laptop, it's the hard drive. It had five years of photographs, holidays and birthdays - everything is taken on digital cameras now."

Suspecting the police would be hard pushed to find her burglar the former Marks and Spencer CCTV camera operator took to the streets herself. She never expected to find the thief himself, but the ditched hard drive.

When she spotted a suspicious looking male she checked herself before leaping to stereotypical conclusions.

"I thought, 'don't be silly, you can't think it's the first dodgy looking man you see," she said.

Instead she went into the local pub and asked whether anyone had been spotted trying to sell a laptop. Sure enough one had, and had just been asked to leave.

So, with evidence mounting against her suspicious male, Clare gave chase. (At this point we cover our eyes and shout at our heroine on the big screen, 'DON'T DO IT!')

Clare described the scene: "I was running down the road. I kept quite a distance, about 40 steps away. I was following him and hiding behind trees. My heart was in my mouth.

"I phoned the police and said 'have you got anyone in the area who can do a stop and search?' I got closer to him and I could see my laptop bag on his shoulder. Four patrol cars came and the lead officers got out and put him on the floor and got my laptop. Afterwards the detective asked if I wanted a job in the CID or if I could give some training to his officers."

She may need to get herself an agent!


October 5, 2007