Security guards restrained a man in Poundland after he allegedly attacked staff during the city’s Christmas lights switch-on.
Dan Stannard and Peter Hunt jumped in and scuffled with the suspect – who was said to be carrying syringes – before handcuffing him inside the Canterbury store.
The pair – who work for Right Guard Security – were in the city preparing to cover the festive event in case of any disturbance.
Staff at Poundland say they noticed a man trying to steal budget snacks, but when they confronted him they were met with abuse and aggression.
Mr Stannard and Mr Hunt raced into the store and helped put an end to the struggle.
Tony Smith, managing director of the security firm, recalled how the incident unfolded at just after 3pm on Friday.
“The man was trying to pinch a bags of crisps,” he said.
“Staff challenged him and he kicked out – he was lashing out at staff.
“They rushed to the crisp aisle and the man was getting very aggressive…” – security firm boss Tony Smith
“The shop manager initially intervened and the man was attacking three people so a member of the public came running out, alerting two of my guys to get in the shop.
“They rushed to the crisp aisle and the man was getting very aggressive.
“Syringes were falling out of his pockets and he was extremely abusive.
“Dan and Peter managed to stop him and they handcuffed him and kept him restrained.”
Police were alerted and made an arrest at the store.
Force spokesman James Walker said: “It was reported a man had attempted to steal items from the store before becoming abusive to people inside. Officers attended and arrested a 51-year-old man from Canterbury on suspicion of theft and assault.
“He has since been released, pending further inquiries.”