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Sunderland Point residents help police nab a car thief

John Freeman
Local residents have been praised by police for their part in assisting officers catch a car thief, who is now behind bars for four months.

Ryan Gorman, 22, of no fixed abode, took a blue Ford transit van from a property on Greenhalgh Lane, Greenhalgh, overnight on 11th August. At around 8.00am the van was sighted by officers in Morecambe, but it failed to stop and a controlled pursuit took place. Gorman, and an 18-year-old passenger, then abandoned the vehicle at Sunderland Point and fled on foot through a coppice.

A dog walker pointed police in the direction that the pair had made off and a number of residents then assisted officers by putting up an unofficial cordon around a field, forcing the men to head to the end of the Point. A police dog then found the two men hiding in a bush and they were arrested.

Gorman appeared at Blackpool Magistrates Court on Friday 12th August and pleaded guilty to taking a vehicle without consent; failing to stop a moving vehicle; driving whilst disqualified and driving without third party insurance. He was jailed for 120 days and given a four-year driving ban.

The 18-year-old passenger was given a caution for being carried in a vehicle that had been taken without consent.

“When we arrived at Sunderland Point with our sirens blaring it was obvious to the residents that we were pursuing a criminal," says PC Bruce Irvine of road policing. "Without any request from us, they did all they could to help us catch the men – effectively giving them nowhere else to run and forcing them to try and hide in a gorse brush.

“Their efforts did not go unnoticed and I would like to say thank you to all those who got involved. Gorman had put members of the public in danger by taking the vehicle and then driving it without insurance and while disqualified, so it is pleasing that it was the public who assisted in putting him behind bars.”