7th Jul, 2022

VIDEO - Suspect car thief caught in Coventry after 100mph pursuit 'did not want to be bitten by police dog'

Coventry Editorial 22nd Mar, 2022 Updated: 22nd Mar, 2022

A SUSPECTED car thief surrendered after a 100mph pursuit because he ‘did not want to be bitten by a police dog’.

Sgt John Simpson was chasing the car in Coventry in the early hours of the morning as the vehicle was suspected to have been used in high value car thefts.

Richard Howard was behind the wheel of the silver Peugeot as he hit triple figures through residential streets just after midnight on February 5.

But unexpectedly Howard suddenly pulled over in Lapworth Road, Wood End, and gave up without any trouble.

As he was arrested the 28-year-old told Sgt Simpson he did not want to come face-to-face with Police Dog Gunner who was ready for action in the back of his patrol car.

Howard, from Himbleton Drive in Binley, Coventry, went on to admit dangerous driving and driving while disqualified and at Warwick Crown Court on March 11 was jailed for 18 months.

Sgt Simpson said: “Our amazing police dogs’ reputation obviously precedes them – they don’t even need to get out of the car for them to have a big impact.

“In fairness to Howard it was a very sensible decision to pull over.

“He’d been flying over speed humps at close to 100 miles per hour and, although it was the middle of the night and the roads were largely empty, it was very dangerous and could have ended with him or someone else being seriously hurt.

“And if he had tried to outrun Gunner there would only ever have been one winner.”

Warwickshire Police initially picked up the Peugeot as it made its way south from Rugby but Sgt Simpson, as an advanced driver, took over the pursuit as it came into Coventry.

It’s suspected Howard and another man – who had been dropped off earlier in the night – were scoping out high value cars to steal.

Coventry Police are patrolling around the clock looking for car thieves and have a dedicated operation – called Operation Cantil – that targets car-key burglars.

Last year under Op Cantil we recovered around 1,000 stolen cars and arrested more than 2,000 suspects.

All motorists can play their part in helping combat car theft.

The most important thing is for drivers to always keep their cars locked and click the fob to make sure it is secure.

They should also invest in a visual deterrent, such as a steering lock, and motorists with keyless cars should keep fobs in a Faraday pouch or metal box to block the signal from opportunist thieves.

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