Four suspected car thieves have been arrested after a police pursuit ended with officers discovering one of the suspects hiding in a bush.
Firearms officers said they were on patrol in Gateshead just before 9pm on October 21 when they "spotted the occupants of a black Vauxhall Zafira acting in a suspicious manner".
Officers signalled for the vehicle to stop but it made off from police and led them on a high speed pursuit.
Officers said the vehicle was driven in such an erratic manner that they had to abandon the pursuit to ensure the safety of other road users.
A short time later the same vehicle was found abandoned after colliding with a telegraph pole in the Sulgrave area of Washington.
Inside the car police found drugs and cash. They said they also believed the vehicle could be stolen.
Three men and one woman were arrested.
One of the four suspects had been found hiding in a nearby bush by officers in the National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter.
The four occupants were acting in a suspicious manner so we checked its details and were suitably concerned to signal for the driver to stop. He refused and then led us on a dangerous pursuit that was so erratic we decided we had to abort it to ensure the safety of the public. The fact the vehicle was then found crashed and abandoned nearby just underlines how poorly driven the vehicle was.
The three men, aged 22, 21 and 20, and the 18-year-old woman have since been released under investigation pending further enquiries.