Manhunt after high speed chase

A MANHUNT was under way today as police searched for two thieves who slipped through their grasp after a dramatic daytime chase.Officers swarmed on central Ipswich as the two men on bikes raced through the town trying to evade capture.

A MANHUNT was under way today as police searched for two thieves who slipped through their grasp after a dramatic daytime chase.

Officers swarmed on central Ipswich as the two men on bikes raced through the town trying to evade capture.

Specially trained officers on board Alpha 99, Suffolk police's helicopter, tracked the men as they sped through town trying to escape the police dragnet.

The chopper team directed a growing number of squad cars to the area around Star Lane at the Waterfront as the men raced for a hideout.

As bemused motorists drove around the one-way system, police cars with lights flashing appeared from all directions and officers sprang into action to chase the offenders.

The drama began in Belvedere Road when reports came in at about 3.20pm that two men had been spotted entering Old Keys roofing yard. A witness told police they appeared to be men in their 20s and they had been seen throwing cable over the fence.

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When the first officers arrived at the yard the suspects fled on mountain bikes. One was seen with cable, thought to have been taken from the yard, wrapped around his waist as he rode.

Alpha 99 was scrambled to give police an eye in the sky and inspectors and supervisors in Suffolk police's control room at the Martlesham police headquarters co-ordinated the efforts to catch the men.

Initially it was thought they were headed toward Felixstowe Road. As units headed there other officers checked Spring Road, Cemetery Road and an ironworks in Star Lane in case the men headed there in an attempt to sell cable.

All the while members of the public were ringing in reports, including descriptions and latest locations for the men.

Alpha 99 then spotted the men on a building site in College Street and squad cars raced to the one-way system.

At 4.15pm a 31-year-old man was arrested in Key Street but it was later found he wasn't one of the two men being hunted.

Officers aboard the helicopter then tracked the pair up Lower Brook Street, into the Old Cattlemarket and into Foundation Street.

A dozen officers then sealed off and searched a block of flats in Pleasant Row where one of the men was believed to be hiding.

At one stage an officer entered the building with a battering ram but they could find no sign of the man and about an hour-and-a-half after the drama began the search was called off.

Superintendent Alan Caton today praised the public for their help during the chase and urged anyone else with information to get in touch.

He said: “The public are key to things like this, they really are. When the public call in we can then move our resources to where they are.”

And he said the helicopter played a central role in the hunt of the men.

“The officers in the helicopter get a birds' eye view of what's going on. They can see where the officers are and they can see the potential escape routes.

“You can't go around a corner to get out of sight from the helicopter.”

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call Pc Trevor Spinlove at Suffolk police on 01473 613500.

Did you witness the police chase? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Watch video of the police manhunt at www.eveningstar.co.uk.

The men the police are hunting:

Both men were aged in their mid 20s and both were riding bikes.

Suspect 1: White, 6ft tall, with bad teeth

Suspect 2: White, 5ft 10in, with dark hair. He was wearing a grey coat.

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