Police have told a security shop owner they are unable to continue investigating a robbery caught on CCTV because they do not have enough evidence.

Fomer policeman Graham Peacock, 65, caught a violent thief, on camera, stealing £90 from his till at the Security Centre in Purley on May 17.

Police issued the picture of a man called Leroy Lawless who they wanted to question in connection with the crime, however they have been unable to trace him through their appeals.

Mr Peacock recently received a letter from the Victim Focus Unit which read: “We have reviewed the crime but so far there is not enough evidence to continue with further inquiries and the case will now be closed. However if we get any more new evidence, we will of course act on that new information.”

An infuriated Mr Peacock, who suffered two broken ribs when he tackled the bandit, said: “This letter is downright insulting, especially in view of all the evidence we gave the police.

“I spoke to the investigating officer, who has done a good job, and he said he it was difficult to go on with it without any new information.

“But sooner or later this guy is going to get nicked for something.”

The former policeman has been nominated for a Croydon Champions award for his bravery in tackling the thug.

After Mr Peacock spotted the thief on CCTV, he chased him down the road with his sales manager Danny Parker.

CCTV showed the cornered thief returning to the shop with the heroic pair and giving back the money. But when he realised Mr Peacock’s pregnant 19-year-old secretary Rhoda Winter, was on the phone to the police, he became violent.

He threatened her and shouted at staff before being punched in the nose by Mr Peacock, who has seven commendations for bravery to his name.

The thug threw his motorcycle helmet and then a fire extinguisher at the front window in an attempt to escape before launching himself through the glass.

A police spokeswoman said: “A thorough investigation has been carried out by Croydon Borough's Burglary squad and this has led to the suspect in this offence being identified. Although a number of enquires have been made to locate him, he is yet to be arrested. The suspect has been circulated as wanted and Police will continue to pro-actively seek him.

“Unfortunately, the victim was sent an incorrect letter advising him that the matter was being closed. I regret that this has happened, particularly in light of what was an excellent investigation by the Burglary squad and can confirm that Mr Peacock has received a personal apology on behalf of Croydon Police"