A THIEF who stole a dozen iPhones from changing rooms at Church Cricket Club was stopped in his tracks after the players gave chase.

The burglar had targetted the changing rooms of away team Haslingden, but he was spotted acting suspiciously, and an off-duty police officer who was playing for Haslingden led the chase when the man escaped with the mobile phones, and tracked him down using GPS technology.

It was dramatic day at the Cricket Club, as play had previously been stopped for an hour earlier after former Church chairman Don Holt was taken ill at the side of the pitch and taken to hospital by ambulance during the match.

Haslingden player Graham Knowles said: “One of the Church lads spotted the thief and our lads gave chase and they caught up with him in a field and retrieved the phones.

“They used another phone to track the phones with GPS tracking.

“One of our teammates is a policeman in Burnley so he led the charge.

“There was a police unit going past so I believe he’s now in custody.

“It was quite an interesting day. I “t was not one I’ve had on the cricket field for 25 years!”

Church player Sam Tucker said: “We were playing cricket and he was sitting in the pavillion, the players area.

“I assumed he was a club official of the away team, but he kept nipping in and out of the changing room.

“I kept my eye on him and he made an exit.

“We chased him through the fields. There was tracking on one of the phones, so we were moving around following the GPS.

“Police had arrived and police dogs and eventually we gripped him, but he didn’t have any phones on him, so we had to pinpoint where he had put them in the field with the tracker.

“Technology is amazing, we couldn’t have done it without the GPS tracking.

“I’ve never experienced anything like it on a cricket field before.”