Helicopter scrambled to Houghton in early hours after gang drag victim from car
The police helicopter was scrambled to Houghton after a man was assaulted by a gang and dragged from his car.
Three suspected carjackers have been arrested and remain in custody following the robbery in the Shields place area of Houghton.
Police officers were called shortly before 1.45am on Thursday, May 6, where a victim had reported that he had been sat in his black Volkswagen when he was approached by a group of males who asked him for a cigarette.
One of the men then snatched the vehicle keys and assaulted the male, dragging him out of the car before the offenders then drove off.
An investigation was launched and a team of officers were tasked with tracking the car and identifying those involved.
The vehicle was soon found abandoned and a member of the public reported seeing a number of males running in the area of Newbottle Street, Houghton.
Northumbria Police say that within a matter of minutes, aided by the National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter, officers had three men in handcuffs who were all detained on suspicion of robbery.
The men – aged 30, 25 and 20 – all remain in police custody and will be interviewed throughout the day.
Detective Chief Inspector Sean Mcguigan, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was an excellent outcome following what must have been a very frightening incident for the victim.
“There is absolutely no place for offending such as this and we remain committed to ensuring whoever is found to be responsible is dealt with swiftly and robustly.
“I’d like to thank the victim for calling us so quickly, as well as the teams of officers who were on hand to track the car and search for the suspects who had later made off on foot.
“This type of outcome is only possible through excellent teamwork, which includes the fantastic NPAS who provided invaluable support by guiding our officers from above.
“Anybody who commits any kind of violent crime can expect to be pursued by police – and we will use every tactic at our disposal to ultimately bring them to justice.”