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Arrest made after dramatic 14-car police operation in Methwold

PUBLISHED: 08:51 06 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:02 06 November 2017

The white transit van which failed to stop for police. The Norfolk and Suffolk Dog Unit was involved. Picture: @NSPoliceDogs

The white transit van which failed to stop for police. The Norfolk and Suffolk Dog Unit was involved. Picture: @NSPoliceDogs

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A dramatic late-night 14-car police operation in relation to a driver who failed to stop ended when a heat-seeking helicopter and police dog helped to track down a man in Norfolk woodland.

The white Ford Transit van failed to stop for police close to Brandon Road, in Methwold, at 10.15pm on Saturday, November 4.

Officers pursued the vehicle after the van headed off down a fire route before the occupants of the vehicle got out.

Fourteen police units - from Thetford, Downham Market, a traffic car, an armed response unit and the Norfolk and Suffolk Police Dog Unit - were called to assist.

A containment area was set up around the area where it is believed the occupants had run off, in an attempt to block them and stop them escaping.

The white transit van which failed to stop for police. The Norfolk and Suffolk Dog Unit was involved. Picture: @NSPoliceDogs The white transit van which failed to stop for police. The Norfolk and Suffolk Dog Unit was involved. Picture: @NSPoliceDogs

The National Police Air Service (NPAS) were also called into action and used the heat sensor to track the occupants.

Dog handler PC Jamie Ward and police dog Neeko tracked one of the men through difficult conditions.

But unfortunately he escaped.

PC Ward said: “Neeko tracked from the van through the woods for roughly three miles. It was really difficult conditions and there were a lot of brambles.”

Another man was tracked in woodland by NPAS.

PC Ward said: “It was down to NPAS that they found a heat source in the woods. We pursued him and found him eventually.”

The man was arrested at around 1am.

A number of containers were found in the back of the van, and are believed to contained diesel.

PC Ward added: “It was a great effort from Downham Market, roads policing and Thetford police. It was a good bit of team work and good perseverance.”

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