Helicopter heat-cam catches suspected e-scooter robbers hiding in Sunderland shed

This is the image that drew the National Police Air Service's attention. Credit: NPAS

A pair of suspected robbers have been arrested after a police helicopter's heat camera spotted them hiding in a garden shed.

At about 12.20pm on Tuesday 26 May, police received a report of a robbery in the Roker Avenue area of Sunderland.

It was alleged two men had threatened a victim before stealing his e-scooter and making off - one in a car and the other on the stolen scooter.

Officers then spotted a vehicle matching the car's description travelling in the Pallion area.

A National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter took to the skies and tracked the car to Hylton Castle, where it had been abandoned.

Shortly afterwards, the NPAS operatives noticed a heat source on their thermal imaging camera coming from a nearby garden shed.

The NPAS operators spotted a dim light near to where a car was abandoned. Credit: NPAS

They notified officers on the ground who located two suspects inside and arrested them on suspicion of robbery.

The two men, aged 25 and 19, remain in police custody.

Chief Inspector Ian Cutty of Northumbria Police said: "From the outset, we were absolutely determined to locate those responsible for this robbery which happened in broad daylight and left the victim understandably shaken.

"What followed was some outstanding work by various teams of officers, not to mention our partners at NPAS who once again proved just how valuable an asset they are in the detection and disruption of crime across the North East.

"Over the course of yesterday (Tuesday), significant work went into tracking the car thought to have been involved in the offence and from there the net quickly tightened around our suspects.

"I would like to thank everyone who played their part in detaining these two men, who will be interviewed as part of our ongoing investigation.

"I hope this sends a strong message to any criminals in our area – you cannot hide, and if we believe you to have been involved in any kind of criminality, you will be pursued, caught and brought into custody for questioning."

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