Northumbria Police gave chase to a stolen VW Golf on Saturday, May 9 after being notified via ANPR cameras that the vehicle was travelling in the Houghton area.
Officers located the car on the A690 near to Burn Park Road – but the vehicle’s driver ignored signals to stop and instead led police on a high-speed chase towards the A1.
After being forced to abandon the dangerous pursuit to avoid a collision, officers instead called on the help of the National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter, which tracked the suspected thieves towards South Tyneside.
The helicopter guided police to the location of the vehicle, which was in the Primose area of Jarrow and had been abandoned by the occupants.
Officers then brought two men and two women, who matched their descriptions, into custody.
Chief Inspector Sam Rennison, who leads the force’s Motor Patrols Department, has praised the teamwork between officers on the ground and in the air.
She said: “This was a high-speed pursuit during which the offending vehicle weaved in between traffic, drove at high speed and rammed our police cars.
“Such was the manner of the driving that our officers had to back off from the pursuit and rely on the expertise of our colleagues in the air to track the vehicle.
“They stayed in constant communication and thanks to the work of the helicopter crew, officers were once again able to pick up the trail of the suspected thieves.
“Ultimately they were brought into custody without a serious collision and, most importantly, without anyone being seriously injured.
“This is a demonstration of the excellent teamwork taking place across our force every day and should come as a strong warning to suspected criminals on our roads.”
The two men, aged 25 and 23, and two women, aged 28 and 19, were all arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and have since been released under investigation.