CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Publican Darren Riley with his security monitor.
CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Publican Darren Riley with his security monitor. Rob Williams

Pub boss is DIY crime-buster

MEET the bravest man in Ipswich.

Prince of Wales Hotel publican Darren Riley has caught a suspected thief red-handed, apprehended him with aplomb and presented him to police.

Mr Riley, sick and tired of having money taken from behind his bar, installed cameras and a monitor in his room to catch the thief.

Just after 10pm on Monday he saw an intruder on the monitor entering the hotel through a window. He immediately swung into action.

He crept downstairs and confronted the man after he had apparently stolen from the till.

"He went for the window, I caught him, apprehended him,

called the police and he was arrested," Mr Riley said.

Mr Riley said he was "too angry to be frightened".

"He wasn't that big, but it was dark and I wasn't sure if he had a weapon," he said. "I had a stick that I carried, just to ensure I was safe.

"I got some cable ties to handcuff him and the police got here in 20 minutes and charged him. I'm just glad the episode is over."

The man will appear in Ipswich court later this month.

Mr Riley said he acted after money began disappearing once or twice a week over eight weeks.

"It was over $6000 taken in cash and cigarettes," he said.

"The punter's club had about $3500 in a locked tin, bolted underneath the bar, taken.

"The girls' tip jars would disappear and then social club money from raffles would disappear.

"I sacked a really good staff member because of circumstantial evidence, thinking that she could be the only person responsible.

"When stuff went missing, it seemed to be when she was working. The whole situation was really horrible for everyone involved because of all the suspicion."

When money continued to go missing, Mr Riley set up surveillance cameras in the pub.

"I thought the only way I was going to stop this person was to catch them red-handed and apprehend them," he said.

"Shortly after we closed on Monday night, we saw on the monitor that the window was opening and a person was climbing through."

That is when Mr Riley went into action. He was modest about his brave actions

"Evil flourishes when good people do nothing," he said. "It is not like we are taking the law into our own hands, but you need to be pro-active in refusing to allow criminals to prosper."

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