A suspected car thief surrendered shortly into a 100mph chase and told our pursuing dog handler “I didn’t want to risk being bitten by your dog”.
Sergeant John Simpson was tailing a car in Coventry in the early hours of the morning as we suspected it was linked to high value car thefts.
Richard Howard was behind the wheel of the silver Peugeot as he hit triple figures through residential streets just after midnight on Saturday 5 February.
But unexpectedly Howard suddenly pulled over in Lapworth Road, Wood End, and gave up without any trouble.
And as he was arrested the 28-year-old told Sgt Simpson he didn’t want to come face-to-face with Police Dog Gunner who was ready for action in the back of his patrol car!
Howard, from Himbleton Drive in Binley, Coventry, went on to admit dangerous driving and driving while disqualified and at Warwick Crown Court on 11 March was jailed for 18 months.
Sgt Simpson said: “Our amazing police dogs’ reputation obviously precedes them: they don’t even need to get out of the car for them to have a big impact.
“In fairness to Howard it was a very sensible decision to pull over.
“He’d been flying over speed humps at close to 100 miles per hour and, although it was the middle of the night and the roads were largely empty, it was very dangerous and could have ended with him or someone else being seriously hurt.
“And if he had tried to outrun Gunner there would only ever have been one winner.”
Warwickshire Police initially picked up the Peugeot as it made its way south from Rugby but Sgt Simpson, as an advanced driver, took over the pursuit as it came into Coventry.
It’s suspected Howard and another man – who’d been dropped off earlier in the night – were scoping out high value cars to steal.
We’re patrolling around the clock looking for car thieves and run a dedicated operation – called Operation Cantil – that targets car key burglars.
Last year under Op Cantil we recovered around 1,000 stolen cars and arrested more than 2,000 suspects.
All motorists can play their part in helping us combat car theft.
The most important thing is to always keep your car locked – and when you walk away from your vehicle and click your fob, check it’s done its job and the car is locked.
Invest in a visual deterrent like a steering lock – it could save you a lot of money in the long run – and keep your keys in a Faraday pouch which blocks the signal from gadgets some car thieves use to steal your car fob’s frequency.