A man has been arrested after a suspected stolen bus ploughed into barriers on a busy dual carriageway.
Detectives believe the bus was taken in a break in at Stagecoach North East’s depot at Dean Road, Chichester, South Shields.
The vehicle later came off the road close to the Tesco supermarket at Simonside.
Police arrested a 31-year-old soon after being alerted to theft at around 1.10am on Sunday, January 6.
They are thought to have found the bus at a standstill on the 40mph Newcastle Road, which leads from Tyne Dock, South Shields, to the A19.
Investigators believe the driver lost control and slammed into a crash barrier, close to a traffic light junction.
The theft has also prompted an internal probe by Stagecoach North East, which confirmed their depot was broken into and a bus taken.
The company, which would not say if the vehicle was single or double decker, confirmed it was cooperating with police.
Northumbria Police said no-one was injured in the collision but confirmed a 31-year-old man had been arrested and released without charge, pending further inquiries.
A spokesman added: “At 1.08am on January 6, we received a report of a suspected stolen bus travelling on Newcastle Road, South Shields.
“Officers responded and located the bus, which is believed to have been taken from a depot off Dean Road, after it had crashed into a barrier and come to a stop. Nobody was injured.
“A 31-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of aggravated vehicle taking. He has been released under investigation.”
A Stagecoach North East spokesman said: “We can confirm that on Sunday, 6 January, an intruder broke into the South Shields depot and a vehicle was driven away unlawfully.
“We are assisting the police with their inquiries and have launched an investigation of our own into the circumstances surrounding the theft.”