By Kirsty Topping
A STREET magician helped catch a gang of thieves by distracting them with tricks until the police arrived.
David Alnwick recognised the gang as those who had stolen a friend’s laptop from a cloakroom just days before.
The 22-year-old spent five minutes showing them slight of hand magic while waiting nervously for the police.
David was handing out flyers for a fringe show in Edinburgh’s Cowgate last summer when he saw one member of the gang act as a
“spotter’ outside a nightclub while another two crept inside.
“When I saw a couple of them sneak into this bar, leaving their mate on guard, I realized that if we could distract him for long enough they might still be there by the time the police could get to us.
“I’d seen CCTV footage which showed four young lads walking off with our stuff some days before.
“We reported it to the police and then carried on with the rest of the run, thinking little of it until towards the end of the Fringe, when we spotted the lads we’d seen on the CCTV hanging around outside the venue.
“I’d done some street magic before so I walked up to the lad on guard and asked him if he’d like to see some magic.
“Perhaps surprisingly in the circumstances, he was up for it and was soon so confounded that he and his mates were still standing there when the police arrived. “
David admits that the incident tested his nerves.
“My heart was pounding,’ he said.
“All I was thinking was
“just keep going with the tricks.”
“I have to confess I took great pleasure in asking him
“is this your card’? at the precise moment he was ushered into the back of a police car. “
David said the incident inspired him to return to Edinburgh this year with his own show, Totally Ninja, at the PBH Free Fringe.
“My thinking was that if I could use magic to catch criminals I could definitely write and perform my own show in 2011. “