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Have-a-go hero's Brighton burglary drama
10:10am Friday 19th October 2012 in News
A gang of suspected burglars were arrested at a drive-thru restaurant just minutes after they had allegedly stolen thousands of pounds of gym equipment.
Officers were alerted to the gang by the burglary victim who called them as he rode on the bonnet of the van, trying to stop the suspected thieves.
The have-a-go-hero stood in front of a white van as it drove towards him in Barcombe Road, Brighton, at about 8pm on Wednesday night (October 17).
He then jumped on to the front of the bonnet shouting at the driver to stop and give him back his belongings.
The van driver continued with the man on the bonnet, turning into Lewes Road and heading eastwards at up to 60mph past Wild Park for a few hundred yards before the man fell off.
The van was then seen by another witness being driven erratically along Lewes Road with the driver hanging out of the van and shouting abuse at other drivers.
Armed officers pursued the van into Newhaven where three men were arrested while they waited for their order at the McDonald’s drive-thru in The Drove.
Commercial gym equipment thought to be worth thousands of pounds was recovered from the van.
At the time of The Argus going to press, two Brighton men aged 31 and 20, and a 34-year-old man from Seaford, were being quizzed by police.
A neighbour who did not wish to be named said: “He was standing in the road with his phone out taking pictures of them and they tried to push him with the van, they tried to run him over.
"They drove to the end of the road and then they put the brakes on but he was still holding on. They then started driving up Lewes Road at about 50mph with him still on the bonnet.
"I thought if he doesn’t hold on any longer, they will run him over.”
She hailed the man as a hero but said she was surprised by his response.
“He’s not normally like that, it’s the first time I ever saw him like that and I can’t believe he did it. He was very brave to do what he did.”
Detective Sergeant Helen Paine from Brighton and Hove CID said: “The victim was very brave in confronting the suspects and fortunately he was not seriously injured but is nonetheless very shaken and bruised.
“We are keen to hear from anyone who saw the white van along with a blue van parked up in Barcombe Road at around 7.45pm and from anyone who witnessed the assault in the Lewes Road.”
Anyone with information should call 101 quoting serial 1653 of 17/10.
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