Police Dog Obi strikes again to catch car thief after ‘pawful’ driving

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All in a day’s work for the hard-working four-legged officer

One of Northumbria Police's furriest officers sprung into action once again last weekend to catch a car thief after some 'pawful' driving - and was slipped a few extra treats for his hard work.

A suspected thief accused of driving a stolen van the wrong way around a roundabout during a police pursuit was arrested on Saturday, July 16 with the help of Police Dog Obi.

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Shortly after 12:30 am on Saturday officers tracked a white van in the Westmorland Way area of Cramlington following reports that it had been driving dangerously in the area.

When instructed to pull over by officers, the driver instead hit the accelerator – driving the wrong way around a roundabout in a desperate bid to evade arrest.

A short time later, officers found the van abandoned in the Westwood Grange area with the occupant having made off on foot.

Officers from the Force’s Motor Patrols Department and Dog Section were on hand to quickly scour the area – with PD Obi leading the search and helping police locate a suspect nearby.

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PD Obi then found what was believed to be the vehicle key that had been discarded.

Police Dog ObiPolice Dog Obi
Police Dog Obi | Northumbria Police

A 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and various driving offences and brought into custody.

Chief Inspector Mick Hall, of Northumbria Police, said: “We all have a duty to take care when behind the wheel and help make our roads as safe as they possibly can be for everyone.

“Clearly the driver of the van showed a total disregard for both the law and the welfare of other road users as they refused to pull over for police, driving the wrong way around a roundabout and putting lives in danger.

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“In a desperate bid for freedom, the driver then made off on foot – but this case once again highlights the crucial supportive role that our Dog Section play in the detection and disruption of crime.

“PD Obi picked up a scent and helped officers locate a suspect nearby, as well as locate the discarded key. He certainly deserved a few extra treats after his shift.

“We make no apology for our robust response to those who are a danger on our roads – and will continue to do everything we can to make our roads as safe as they can be for all.”

The man arrested remains under investigation with enquiries ongoing.