Two Napier youths are being lauded for "doing the right thing" after they stopped a group of thieves at a local bike park.

Cousins Shamus Paramore, 12, and Zahn Te Ngaru-Mewburn, 17, were riding their BMX bikes at the Marine Parade Pump Track on Christmas Eve when they spotted a group of teenagers stealing items from a handbag.

Shamus told the Herald he saw three boys, aged around 13 to 16, suspiciously rifling through the handbag when he decided to take action.

"I ran after the person and tackled him, while the other two boys were running far in front of him," he said.

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Shamus asked the thief to prove a phone stolen from the handbag was his by entering the pin number. When that failed, Shamus tried to reclaim the item.

"He wouldn't give it to me and tried to punch me but I dodged it and grabbed the phone off him."

Zahn spotted the scuffle and went to his cousin's aid, before the pair rode off on their bikes and called the police.

Soon afterwards the boys were approached by Kelly Woolston, who owned the handbag.

Cousins Shamus Paramore, 12, and Zahn Te Ngaru-Mewburn, 17 (centre) with Kelly Woolston and her family.
Cousins Shamus Paramore, 12, and Zahn Te Ngaru-Mewburn, 17 (centre) with Kelly Woolston and her family.

"I handed over the phone and the lady gave me a big hug and said thank you heaps of times," Shamus said.

Woolston said she was stoked with the boys' actions.

Woolston was on holiday in Napier with her three children and husband when the robbery happened.

"We were biking around and my son had the bag but he put it down, which was a mistake, and then we moved away.

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"When we realised, we were chasing around thinking 'oh no, everything is gone' and then we saw the young boys with my phone."

Woolston said the thieves had taken her work iPhone 7 and $160, but thanks to Shamus and Zahn she only lost the money.

"I am really grateful and think they are awesome because they did it on their own accord and did the right thing when they didn't have to."

Woolston said Zahn went as far as offering her his last $5 to compensate for the money that was stolen.

"The fact that he offered me his only $5 was amazing. They are really good people.

"It made a really awful thing really nice. I couldn't thank them enough. I am really grateful for what they did for us that day."

Eastern District Police posted the "neat story about two boys doing the right thing" on their Facebook page.

Here’s a neat story about two boys doing the right thing in Napier on Christmas Eve… Shamus and Zhan were at the Marine...

Posted by Eastern District Police on Monday, 25 December 2017

Senior Sergeant David Sutherland told the Herald police appreciated the boys' quick actions.

"While we encourage people to think about the risks involved before stepping into something like this, we appreciate the quick actions of these boys, who helped make Christmas a little more cheery than it might have been for the owner of the handbag," he said.

"It also shows the importance of keeping your eyes open for any strange or unusual behaviour, and to call police as soon as you can."

The boys' grandmother Sharon Paramore said she was proud of her grandsons.

"I am really happy that they did that. Those people were on holiday so that would have been a bit of a downer for them, but to get it back, they must have been really overwhelmed."

This was not the first time one of Paramore's grandchildren have intervened in a crime.

Her other grandson Michael McGeorge, 14, also made news headlines in November for stopping a robber at Napier's Arkwrights dairy.

"All my little ones are becoming heroes. It is unreal," she said.