England

Suspected thief in wrong-way motorway drive on M42

A suspected thief trying to get away from police drove the wrong way on the motorway and a major road and turned off the headlights.

The car, which went on the M42 and the A45 in the West Midlands, was linked to a burglary in Coventry when a couple were threatened at knifepoint.

The vehicle crashed on the M42 in the early hours.

A 32-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary while another person is on the run.

Dodged traffic

Police first spotted the Audi S3 quattro at a petrol station on Birmingham Road, Coventry, shortly before midnight on Wednesday, minutes after the burglary at a flat in the Holbrooks area of Coventry.

The car sped away the wrong way down the A45 and out of sight. Officers went to the M42 about 20 minutes later after the vehicle was picked up by camera operators heading past junction 2, for Alvechurch, Worcestershire.

The vehicle, which also went on the motorway near Solihull, later performed a U-turn and drove the wrong way along the hard shoulder, while the driver turned off the car's headlights as it headed towards oncoming traffic.

Officers forced it to travel in the right direction and the pursuit was then abandoned in the interests of public safety. The National Police Air Service began tracking the vehicle from the sky.

When it crashed into a central reservation, the driver and passenger dodged traffic to run across the carriageway into a group of trees.

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