TWO men have been arrested after allegedly abandoning a stolen car– only to be caught trying to flee in a taxi.

Both men were arrested for failing to stop for police, dangerous driving and driving whilst unfit through drink and/or drugs. They remain in custody.

In the early hours of Friday, officers received a report from Durham Constabulary that a suspected stolen car had entered the region.

Traffic officers from Durham were joined by response officers from Northumbria Police as the car travelled at high speeds through Ryton, Greenside and into Prudhoe.

In Prudhoe, police said the Peugeot 108 lost control and crashed, before the two male occupants left the car and fled on foot.

They were seen heading into Cottier Grange housing estate, on the site of the old Prudhoe Hospital, where response officers, traffic police and the dog section were deployed to locate them.

But, as searches continued through nearby woodland and fields, a Northumbria Police motor patrols officer spotted a taxi leaving the estate. They followed the taxi, signalled for it to stop, found the two suspects hiding in the back seat and placed the men under arrest.

A senior officer at Northumbria Police has now praised the cross-border teamwork with colleagues in Durham and the tenacity of the officers carrying out the search.

Chief inspector Ian Cutty said: “This was a fantastic piece of team work between two neighbouring forces to bring a dangerous pursuit to an end.

“This vehicle had travelled at speed across Durham, Gateshead and Northumberland in the early hours of the morning and put other road users at risk. But we were determined not to let them escape and when they abandoned the vehicle, we flooded the area with officers and our police dogs.

“Ultimately, it was the vigilance of a motor patrols officer that resulted in two suspects being arrested. He witnessed a taxi leaving the area and was vigilant enough to bring it to a stop and located two intoxicated males in the back seat.

“I want to praise everyone who was involved in this response and hope that the display of teamwork reassures our communities across the North-East.”