POLICE officers have been praised for their actions in thwarting a car thief who speeded through two Tyne Valley communities.

A Mitsushibi Shogun was stolen from a motorist as he opened a gate at Dissington Hall near Ponteland, when the thief jumped in and drove away.

Police were alerted, and officers tracked his journey before cutting off his route in explosive fashion - by deploying a stinger device to burst the vehicle’s tyres.

Despite making off on foot, police caught up with the suspect, who was arrested on suspicion of aggravated vehicle taking and driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs.

He has since been released under investigation pending further inquiries.

Chief insp. Sam Rennison, of Northumbria Police’s operations department, said: “This response demonstrates the value of strong communication and teamwork. A number of officers worked together to establish the direction the vehicle was heading in and set up a stinger point.

“It has been expertly deployed by one of our specialist traffic officers, but he did not rest there and made off in pursuit of the driver.”

Chief insp. Rennison urged anyone with information to call 101.