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12-year-old Brussels girl tracks and subdues alleged thief

11:47 18/06/2018

A 12-year-old Brussels girl gave an alleged thief a run for his money last week.

After discovering that the backpack of her little brother had disappeared, Ema and her family went looking for it at the SuperVliegSouperMouche festival in the Forest city park last Sunday.

When Ema spotted a man holding her brother’s belongings, she jumped on his back, causing him to lose his balance. “I told him that he had my brother’s backpack and that he had to give it back,” Ema told the Sudpresse papers.

When the man insisted that the bag was his, she alerted both the passers-by around her and her uncle that the man had stolen her brother’s backpack. Ema’s uncle, Thierry Van Campenhout, is the alderman for city development in the Saint-Gilles commune.

When police arrived at the scene, they found several items that appeared to have been stolen in the backpack, including several wallets and mobile phones.

Looking back, Ema says she didn’t hesitate for a second when she spotted the alleged thief. “I was furious,” she said.

But she realises that she put herself at risk and that things could have taken a different turn. “Next time something like this happens, I will first talk to the people around me,” she said.

Photo: Belga / Wolfram Steinberg