A GROUP of pubgoers were hailed heroes after using an app to help trace an armed thief who had stolen a woman’s handbag.

Danny Mills, Scott Dowse and Harry Hill got to the Old Ale and Coffee House on Crane Street at about 10pm, when they noticed a distressed woman.

She told the group her friend had had her bag stolen while distracted during the pub’s weekly quiz, and that the FindMyiPhone app was showing that the bag was around Queen Elizabeth Gardens, so the trio sprinted up there.

Using the app, the men were able to trace and follow the missing iPhone through the city centre, around the Maltings, Greencroft, Salt Lane and eventually to Rollestone Street, where police were arresting a man.

Danny said: “We headed back to the Old Ale House where we we had a heroes’ welcome.

“It didn’t really feel like we did much, but the ladies were really grateful and took photos of us and bought us a beer as the police arrived.”

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Wiltshire Police were alerted to a bag theft from the rear outside garden area of the Old Ale and Coffee House in Crane Street, Salisbury, at around 8.30pm on May 29

Officers, using information provided by the owner of the bag, subsequently located the bag and the majority of the contents, a short time later.

A 30-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft and possession of a knife and has been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Wiltshire Police on 101, especially if they witnessed the bag theft from the garden area of the Old Ale and Coffee House.

Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.