Page last updated at 12:42 GMT, Tuesday, 4 May 2010 13:42 UK

Spider-Man foils comic book thief in Australia

Adelaide Now/Tait Schmaal
CCTV footage caught the moment 'Spider-Man' confronted the thief

A comic book shop owner in Australia became a real-life superhero when he caught a robber red-handed.

Michael Baulderstone, who was dressed as Spider-Man for a promotional event, spied a customer behaving suspiciously.

CCTV footage shows him "leap" into action and confront the would-be shoplifter who had slipped a AU$160 (£97) X-Men book into his bag.

Mr Baulderstone said customers at the shop in Adelaide thought it was a stunt until he asked them to call the police.

"We had about 40 people dressed up as their favourite superheroes to celebrate International Free Comic Day, so he [the thief] didn't have much of a choice but to hand the X-Men Omnibus back after a little bit of a scuffle," Mr Baulderstone told the Adelaide Advertiser.

Michael Baulderstone
Mr Baulderstone says he can look back and laugh now

He said a group of Jedi knights blocked the door to prevent the thief from escaping, as The Flash looked on.

"I've had a look at the security footage and it shows Spiderman running down the corridor of the shop, grabbing this guy, hauling him off," said the 45-year-old.

"It was a bit serious at the time, but now we're looking back laughing at what greeted police when they arrived."

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