Reporter vs. Mugger: 'Wrong Blind Person, Wrong Day'

BBC correspondent Sean Dilley didn't let his lack of sight keep him from defeating a phone thief
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2022 9:06 AM CST
Reporter vs. Mugger: 'Wrong Blind Person, Wrong Day'
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/ponsulak Creative #:)

A thief may have surprised BBC journalist Sean Dilley by lifting his phone on the streets of London, but it was Dilley who had an even bigger surprise for the thief. The BBC reports that its correspondent, who was working the night shift at New Broadcasting House, BBC's headquarters in London, went on break around 6am Tuesday. As he was standing on the street, a person on a bike swooped by and snatched Dilley's iPhone right out of his hand.

Dilley, who believes he was targeted due to his blindness, says he could sense that the perp was still close to him, so he flung his body in that direction, knocking his attacker to the ground. Dilley pinned the thief's arms, somehow managed to find and retrieve his phone, and used a voice assistant to call 911. A bystander rushed over to help Dilley, who told his struggling attacker he would set him free if he left the area immediately. The thief got up and fled, at Dilley's direction. "Wrong blind person wrong day," Dilley wrote on Twitter afterward.

Despite the happy ending for Dilley, who suffered just "a few cuts and bruises" and a hurt elbow, he calls himself "stupid" for going after the phone pilferer and recommends others in his situation not follow suit. Instead, he advises, just call the police, per the BBC. Authorities are continuing their investigation into what they're now calling an attempted robbery, which Dilley takes issue with. "The robbery was complete," he writes online. "I gave immediate chase. And recovered it after the robbery. [An] attempted robbery would be one where the item has not been taken." (More mugging stories.)

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