A dad has been praised after chasing a thief trying to steal a bike from outside his office.

Nick Edwards was at work in Purley when he was distracted by a noise coming from outside, at about 1.45pm on July 20.

When the 52-year-old, who lives in Sanderstead investigated, he saw a male trying to break a bike lock.

He said: "I could hear a noise outside and realised the guy was trying to steal a bike. He was hitting the bike lock with a hammer, it came off and he rode off down Brighton Road.

"I grabbed my keys and ran out of the building. I asked the security guards to phone the police, and jumped into my car in hot pursuit.

"I lost him initially and was going down all the side streets, but then I saw him and followed him for about 15 minutes while trying to get through to the police."

After getting through to the control room, Mr Edwards gave officers a running commentary to his location, before officers swooped on the suspected thief.

Police collected Mr Edwards and drove him to identify the man and the bike, before he returned to work.

The freelance consultant added: "When I went back to work with the police, people in my building were hanging out the window and gave a round of applause.

"I knew it was someone's bike in the building where I work. It was an expensive bike and the guy who it belonged to gave me a bottle of wine to say thanks.

"Going after it was just the right thing to do, I don't like people taking things that don't belong to them."

Tony Gregory of Willowtree Way, Thornton Heath was arrested and charged with theft.

The 27-year-old pleaded guilty when he appeared at Camberwell Green Magistrates Court on July 21.

Gregory, who had recently been released from prison was jailed for 12 weeks, because of the nature of the offence.