Two suspected thieves were snared after the stolen vehicle they were driving broke down in front of police - after they filled it with the wrong fuel.
At about midday on Sunday (June 28) police were on patrol in Newcastle when they spotted a suspected stolen Audi Q7 in High Heaton.
They signalled for the vehicle to stop but it fled the area before police later located it parked on Swaledale Gardens.
Enquiries led to officers obtaining descriptions of two suspects who were believed to have been in the vehicle earlier that day.
Officers carrying out patrols in the area then came across a broken down Volvo near to the Sainsbury’s on Benton Road.
They stopped their car and found the occupants had put the wrong type of fuel in the vehicle – and that they also matched the description of the suspected thieves.
Both men were searched and officers located the keys to the Audi Q7 reported to have been stolen from Sunderland on June 17.
Further enquiries also established the broken down Volvo was on cloned number plates and had also been stolen from Newcastle last November.
The men, aged 36 and 33, were arrested by police and now a top cop has praised the work of those involved.
Chief Inspector Sam Rennison, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was a great bit of teamwork between response officers and colleagues in the Operations Department.
“Our firearms officers had been in the area to see if they could assist in the search for two men matching the description of the car thieves.
“But they couldn’t believe their luck when a car broke down in front of them after the occupants had filled the Volvo up with the wrong fuel.
“Further enquiries established the Volvo was also stolen and that has been seized and will soon be returned to the owner.
“This is a fantastic result that has seen the recovery of stolen property, two arrests and the seizure of vital evidence.
“I want to praise the work of everyone involved and an investigation is now well underway to try and secure criminal charges in this case.”
Both men arrested have been released on bail pending further enquiries.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact police on 101 quoting log 475 28/06/20 or report it online at the Northumbria Police website.