‘Most wanted criminal’ Brian Thexton arrested in Cumbria

The alleged robber and drug dealer had been listed in the ‘rogues’ gallery’ of 13 fugitives thought to be hiding out in Spain

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The Independent Online

One of Britain’s most wanted fugitives has been arrested by police in Cumbria.

Brian Thexton, 37, had been named in the National Crime Agency’s “rogues’ gallery” of 13 high priority suspects thought to be hiding out in Spain. He was wanted for a string of alleged offences, including robbery and conspiracy to supply cocaine.

Mr Thexton, from Durham, has been sought by police in the UK since he evaded capture in Lancashire on 15 November – at which point he also injured an officer.

Cumbria Police confirmed he was detained “without incident” at a property in the countryside near Kirkby Stephen, shortly before 8pm last night.

When the NCA released the most wanted list earlier this month, Mr Thexton was accused of being involved in a gang which would break into people’s homes, tie them up and force them to reveal the location and access codes to valuables.

In one incident, the gang impersonated police officers in order to gain access to a home, at which point they brandished a pick axe handle and baseball bat.

He has previously admitted conspiring to steal cars and machinery, and is also awaiting trial for claims he was a middleman in the sale of half a kilo of cocaine.

Police have been hunting for Mr Thexton in Lancashire since they found him in a car on Aberdeen Road, Lancaster, two weeks ago. An officer tried to stop the wanted man by reaching through the open window and pulling the keys out of the ignition, but was dragged along the road and injured when Mr Thexton drove off before he could do so.

Speaking last night, Detective Superintendent Andrew Slattery said: “Detectives from Cumbria Constabulary have worked hard with other police forces in the North of England over recent weeks to track down and arrest Mr Thexton.

“After a uniformed policing operation tonight he was detained without incident at an isolated rural property.

“We would like to thank the community of North Cumbria for their support.”