Police received a call at 11.15pm on Friday, May 20 from residents in the Hylton Castle area of Sunderland who believed a group of men were trying to steal a black motorcycle.
The group were seen pushing the scooter up the road before it left the area in a blue Ford Focus.
Within six minutes of the original call coming in, Northumbria Police said officers were in pursuit of the suspects.
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The car was tracked to the Pallion area of Sunderland and three men were arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle after matching the description of those involved in the offence.
Police say enquiries are ongoing to trace the stolen motorcycle and the three men arrested who are aged 23, 22 and 19, remain under investigation.
Chief Inspector Ian Cutty, of Northumbria Police, said: “Residents spotted a group of men acting suspiciously and absolutely did the right thing by alerting us. That allowed us to get officers down to the scene quickly and build a picture of what had happened and those believed to be responsible.
“After following various lines of enquiry, some outstanding work by the officers who attended meant we were able to locate the blue Ford which we suspect was involved in the theft. Three men inside the car were subsequently detained and interviewed in custody.
Anyone with information can contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or by calling 101 quoting log NP-20220520–1412.