Brighton fugitive runs from helicopter before giving himself in because he needed the toilet (From The Argus)
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Brighton fugitive runs from helicopter before giving himself in because he needed the toilet
A wanted man who jumped between rooftops to evade police eventually gave himself up – because he needed the toilet.
The 21-year-old sparked a major man-hunt on Thursday night with officers, fire crews and a police helicopter scouring the roofs of London Road, Brighton.
Dozens of police went door to door in a bid to track down the man from Brighton as the major thoroughfare was closed for more than two hours.
Sussex Police received a call at 8.15pm to reports of two men attempting to break into Nobles Amusements in London Road.
A 24-year-old was arrested nearby soon after, while his companion went on the run.
As he headed for the rooftops, police called the fire brigade for help.
A Preston Circus station spokesman told The Argus: “We had the aerial ladder out and used our cameras to look on the roofs but we couldn’t find him.
We eventually went back to the station and the police helicopter looked with the thermal camera.”
Police closed off London Road for more than two hours and residents poured into the streets to watch the action unfold.
Pateh Sannah, who lives across the road from Nobles Amusements, said: “We heard the sirens and then two officers came up to the house and asked if we had seen anything.
“The road was full of police. It was obviously quite serious.”
Salah Gobrial, who runs the Brighton Bargains newsagents and owns a number of properties in London Road, told how officers came and asked for the keys to his flats.
He said: “They went upstairs and looked through the flats.
“They were going from door to door searching for him.”
The trail appeared to have gone cold with the man unaccounted for more than two-and-a-half hours.
But shortly before 10.30pm the police helicopter’s thermal image camera picked up a heat source from under a pile of thick wooden scaffolding on top of the British Heart Foundation shop.
The firefighter said the man then decided to hand himself in as he “needed the toilet”.
He said: “We were called back and used the aerial ladder to get to him. He came down without a fuss.”
Residents described a “dishevelled” man returning to the ground “calmly” before being arrested and taken away.
A nearby shopkeeper, who asked not to be named, said the man had used “thick wooden scaffolding” to hide under the roof.
He added: “It would have been difficult for the thermal camera to pick him up. He certainly gave them the run-around.”
A Sussex Police spokesman said: “The two men, one aged 21 from Brighton, and the other aged 24 from Liverpool, were arrested on suspicion of burglary. Both are currently in custody for interview and further enquiries.
“There was no violence and nobody was hurt.”
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