You don’t mess with Elaine Gallaway.
At 73, she’s 4 feet 11 inches and weighs 125 pounds. Saturday she confronted a man attempting to wheel a shopping cart of stolen goods out of a Walmart in Campbell River, British Columbia.
As the would-be thief was just about to get out the door, Gallaway stopped him and ripped off his mask. The somewhat stunned man broke free of her grip, then engaged in a tug of war over the shopping cart. Gallaway wouldn’t let go, so the man made one last lunge for a backpack in the cart, grabbed it and left on his bicycle.
A video of the event has gone viral.
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers may find offensive.
Masked scumbag tries to shoplift a cart full of goods. Suddenly based grandma and grandpa step up hard.
We have had enough pic.twitter.com/jz4kH6i3Jq
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 1, 2022
“When he pushed me, that was the boiling point,” Gallaway said, describing the incident to Global News.
She wasn’t concerned about the man having a weapon since he had one hand on the shopping cart and the other on his bicycle, which he had parked inside the store. As a result, Gallaway’s “old training kicked in.”
She had been a bank teller for 17 years and had previously been robbed at gunpoint.
Before confronting the man at the exit, she had been suspicious of him in the store. Besides his full grocery cart, Gallaway saw him “shoving roasts of beef in a backpack.”
She told a Walmart employee about it and was assured store security would intercept the man before he left.
“So I went about my business, paid for my groceries, and as I was walking out the door he was trying to run out with a full grocery cart of items,” Gallaway told Global News.
“Then he ran into me, and I said to him, ‘You coward, show your face to the camera.’” She remembered from her time in the bank that police had told her being able to see the suspect’s face was helpful to an investigation.
Police commended Gallaway’s bravery but cautioned against doing what she did. Gallaway concurred. Somewhat.
She said she wouldn’t recommend doing what she did — you could get hurt. But faced with the same situation, she said she would probably repeat her actions.
All this despite the stabbing of a security guard at the same store in December by a man attempting to leave with a cart of stolen goods.
Constable Maury Tyre of the Campbell River Royal Canadian Mounted Police said people in the community are frustrated by blatant criminal activity and are concerned that thefts from stores will affect prices, Global News reported.
That’s exactly what Gallaway told Saturday’s thief: “Get out! You just jack up the price for everybody else!”
Campbell River, located in a rural area near provincial parks on Victoria Island about 60 miles northwest of Vancouver, does not seem like a place where you would find crime waves.
And with people like Elaine Gallaway around, maybe it will really become that way.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.