Reece Brown, the hero tradie who made a citizens arrest in Woolloongabba.
Reece Brown, the hero tradie who made a citizens arrest in Woolloongabba. Peter Wallis

Hero tradie chased down car thief after crash

THE Brisbane tradie who chased down an alleged car thief says he's happy to return to the quiet life and leave future arrests to the police.

Reece Brown, 31, was one of several people who leapt into action when 21-year-old Robert Hopkins allegedly crashed a stolen vehicle into several parked cars at the intersection of Logan Rd and Deshon St, Woolloongabba last week.

"I was heading to the hardware store when I heard a bit of screeching and then the accident unfolded right in front of me," he said.

Mr Brown said he jumped out of his car and went to check on the people in the crash when he noticed a man sprinting away.

"I heard someone yell: 'He's doing a runner, get him!' So I just changed directions and pursued the guy down the road as fast as I could," he said.

When Hopkins ran into a nearby worksite Mr Brown managed to corner him.

"I put him into a bit of a restraint while another guy jumped on his back and the cops were there about 30 seconds later," he said.

Mr Brown didn't know it at the time, but Queensland police were filming the dramatic chase from a helicopter and the video has since been viewed thousands of times.

"When I saw the actual Polair footage my jaw just dropped. It's been so surreal seeing myself on the news, I got so many calls from people asking if it was me," he said.

Mr Brown, who later got to meet the owner of the allegedly stolen vehicle, said the arrest was "really a team effort".

The carpenter is happy to leave crime fighting to police but didn't rule out another citizen's arrest should the moment arise.

"It's difficult to say if I'll chase the next one down, I'll have to wait and see," he said.

Hopkins has been charged with offences including dangerous operation of a vehicle and burglary.

He appeared in court on Thursday and did not apply for bail.