A long-distance runner has donated cash to promote youth fitness after catching a thief who snatched his laptop.

Peter Stevens was in his car outside his home in Beche Road, Abbey, Cambridge, when the hooded thief opened the rear door and grabbed the computer.

The 34-year-old runner and IT expert chased him and was surprised when he caught up with the thief after just 225 metres.

Realising the game was up, the puffed-out criminal dropped the laptop, allowing Mr Stevens to pick it up. Mr Stevens said: “I was appalled by how unfit this guy was.

I thought it would take a lot longer to catch up with him. If you are going to go into the snatch-and-run business at least try and get fit or at least play to your strengths and go for something less energetic.”

Mr Stevens was wearing his new running shoes to break them in at the time of the attempted theft, which happened on Friday.

He said: “I chased him, hoping my stamina would lead him to tire and eventually I’d catch him. Despite his obvious age advantage and a good long head start, it was obvious I was going to catch him. He dropped my laptop and carried on running away.

“I took the bait and picked up my laptop rather than catching him and beating him to a pulp, which in many ways would have been more satisfying. It was such a lousy performance on the thief’s part and it made me worried about the fitness of youngsters.”

The next day Mr Stevens made a donation to a charity which promotes fitness.

He said: “I made a small donation at Milton Country Park to Cambridge Parkrun to help encourage youngsters to get fit. They seem to need all the help they can get.”

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