Real-life Batman hands suspect to police

A masked vigilante dressed as the caped crusader delivered a wanted man to Bradford police last week

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In a scene perhaps more reminiscent of Only Fools and Horses than The Dark Knight Rises, a vigilante dressed as Batman has delivered a wanted man into police custody.

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“I’ve caught this one for you,” the caped crusader told officers after marching the 27-year-old suspect into Trafalgar House Police Station in the early hours of Monday 25 February – before disappearing back into the night.

“The person who brought the man in was dressed in a full Batman outfit,” said a police spokesperson. “His identity remains unknown.”

It’s impossible to say for sure whether the caped crusader was inspired by Christian Bale’s recent outings as the Dark Knight or by Del Boy’s inadvertant crime-foiling exploits in the 1996 Only Fools and Horses Christmas special but his costume and pot-bellied physique certainly have more in common with Del than Bruce Wayne.

And while police remain mystified as to the identity of the masked man, a local fancy dress shop owner believes she knows who he is.

Kathryn Sutcliffe, who runs The Joke Shop on Kirkgate Market, says she sold an identical outfit, based on the one worn in the cult 1960s Batman TV series, to a tall, dark man in his twenties just days before the incident.

“Usually they want the Dark Knight costume but he wanted this one,” said Ms Sutcliffe. “He wanted the one with the muscly chest as well. It’s like the one Del Boy wears in Only Fools and Horses.”

She added that she knew the customer’s name from his credit card receipt but vowed to keep his true identity a secret.

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The suspect, charged with fraud and handling stolen goods, will appear before Bradford magistrates on Friday.