Traffic cops, a dog unit and the police helicopter joined forces to catch three teenagers who led officers on a pursuit across Birmingham in a stolen car.
The alarm was raised by a police patrol vehicle when a Toyota Avensis failed to stop for officers in Grove Road, Kings Heath, just after 9.30pm on Tuesday (Feb 23).
It was tailed by an advanced police driver for around 15 minutes around Acocks Green and Sparkhill – and monitored overhead by the police helicopter – before stopping in Nansen Road where three men ran from the vehicle.
The 18-year-old driver was arrested after the helicopter’s powerful on-board cameras showed him ducking into a shop in Stratford Road, while police dogs tracked passengers aged 17 and 19 to nearby gardens.
Enquiries confirmed the Avensis, which was running on stolen number plates, was stolen during a burglary in Halesowen on 30 December last year.
A quantity of cannabis was found in the vehicle and officers are also looking into whether it has been used to commit several ‘bilkings’ – fuel thefts at petrol stations – in recent weeks.
Investigating officer PC Julie Roberts, said: “It was a fantastic team effort: the pursuit was brought to a safe conclusion and all three suspects arrested with help from our ‘eye in the sky’ and police tracking dogs.
“Two of them thought they could lie low in gardens under the cover of darkness…but they clearly underestimated the high-tech thermal imaging cameras on the police helicopter and they were detained within minutes of fleeing.”
The three teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of handling a stolen vehicle, drugs possession and bilking, while the driver also faces a potential dangerous driving charge.
They have been bailed until a date in April while officers carry out more enquiries.