Two police helicopters took to the skies yesterday afternoon to chase an all-black Range Rover, stolen from a home in Sussex, as it made its way towards the capital.
The driver behind the wheel of the stolen SUV was cornered and arrested just moments before driving onto the busy A3 dual carriageway towards the centre of London.
Officers from Sussex Police were joined by those from Surrey and the Metropolitan Police Forces in the pursuit as the driver ignored their blue lights and sirens.
Sussex roads police officer PC Tom Van Der Wee said the driver “sounded very keen to get away” when he overheard the start of the pursuit on his radio.
The driver sped along the M25 from the junction with the M23 near Redhill, taking just five minutes to travel the 9.5 miles to junction nine at Leatherhead, according to flight data from the National Police Air Service’s (NPAS) helicopter G-POLD.
The chase continued into the residential suburbs of south west London, where the helicopter was spotted circling over residential streets between Chessington and Sutton.
A second police helicopter was called in at around 5pm from the Metropolitan Police’s air base in Lippitts Hill shortly before the wheels of the fleeing Range Rover were punctured with a spike strip, also known as a “stinger”, on the slip road to the A3 in New Malden.
This gave officers the opportunity to box the car in using a specialist manoeuvre called TPAC.
The bonnet of a police BMW was damaged in the manoeuvre, but a spokesman for NPAS London said this is a risk worth taking to prevent “further risk to the public”.
Pictures seen by The Argus show huge dents and scratches on the Range Rover with debris strewn across the slip road, which was closed while the incident was ongoing.
The spokesman for NPAS London said the specialist force was involved in a “Lengthy high risk cross border pursuit involving a stolen car in a burglary in Sussex.
“Several police vehicles were rammed by the vehicle which was stung and forced to stop in the New Malden area using tactical contact by the Metropolitan Police Roads and Transport TPAC units, preventing further risk to the public.
“The driver is now in custody. Thankfully there are no serious injuries. Good bit of teamwork all pulling together to take a dangerous individual off the streets.”
Sussex Police have been approached for comment.