Car thief tries to evade police helicopter by hiding on a roof; gets arrested

'He may have thought he'd given us the slip…but he was proved wrong!'

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The Independent Online

At some point, criminals on the run will realise that it is impossible to evade police when they have a helicopter with a thermal imaging camera at their disposal.

Yet until that day arrives, thieves will carry on behaving in ways they may think are clever but are actually, in hindsight, incredibly reckless.

The latest such case involves a car thief in the West Midlands. Police released footage showing officers pursuing the suspect, Julian Allen, as he drove along the A452 in in Castle Bromwich at more than 120mph.

Not only was Allen speeding; he is also seen driving the wrong way round a roundabout and driving into on-coming traffic.

Such was the reckless and endangering nature of Allen's driving that officers abandoned their pursuit of the 25-year-old. Thus, Allen thought he had got away with his criminal behaviour, apparently unaware that a police helicopter was now keeping tabs on him as he ditched the stolen car.

High-tech thermal imaging cameras in the helicopter could track Allen leaping a few garden fences before crouching on a garage roof, lying still as he thought he had managed to successfully rid himself of the police.

However, minutes later he was caught and in a police cell, going on to admit admit dangerous driving at Birmingham's crown court. He was jailed for 30 months.

West Midlands Police's Kerry Blakeman said: "This was a textbook example of the force helicopter and traffic units working together to track and arrest a dangerous offender.

"Allen may have thought he’d given us the slip…but he was quickly proved wrong!"