1. ITV Report

London rail line shut as suspected burglar tries to evade police by sitting in a tree

A suspected burglar is trying to evade police by perching in a tree overhanging a railway line - causing major disruption for London commuters.

Suspected burglar attempts to evade police by staying in tree Credit: News Shopper

The strong-willed fugitive climbed the tree near Charlton station in south-east London in the early hours of this morning and is refusing to come down.

Suspected burglar attempts to evade police by staying in tree Credit: News Shopper

He had been chased by police after an attempted burglary at a nearby retail park shortly before 2am in a pursuit involving the Metropolitan Police helicopter.

British Transport Police sent specialist officers to try to persuade him to come down from the tree near Barney Close, but rail operator Southeastern was forced to close the track.

Surrounding roads sealed off Credit: ITV News

Our officers were called to a trespass incident near Charlton station at 2am on Wednesday 13 August, after reports of a man on the tracks. Colleagues from the Metropolitan Police Service and London Ambulance Service are also in attendance. The man is currently still on the scene, and specialist officers are talking to him in order to resolve the situation.

– British Transport Police

Southeastern says that the tree overhangs the London-bound track and so it is not safe to run services while the man refuses to come down, although trains out of London are able to run normally after an initial closure.

Surrounding roads sealed off Credit: ITV News

Police were called to reports of an attempted burglary at a commercial unit on the Stone Lake Retail Park, SE7, at 1.50am on August 13. On arrival, officers identified a suspect and began a pursuit which also involved the Metropolitan Police's Air Support Unit, during which the man was observed running close to rail lines. The suspect subsequently climbed a tree next to the rail lines off Barney Close.

– Metropolitan Police