Workmen chase suspected thief after Goodmayes police pursuit crash
TWO plucky workmen sporting hard hats and wellington boots sprinted after a teenager moments after a police car chase ended in chaos.
The youngster fled the Volkswagen GTI he was travelling in yesterday morning after it took to the wrong side of the road, mounted a traffic island and hit a Ford Mondeo side-on.
Chasing police – who suspected the car was stolen – smashed windows to get the four men out of the car in High Road, Goodmayes.
They were soon handcuffed, but while the attention of the outnumbered pair of police officers was elsewhere, a fourth person – believed to be aged about 18 – got out of the back seat and ran off.
It was then that two have-a-go BT engineers spotted the unfolding drama and chased after the fleeing suspected thief.
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One of them, 38-year-old Kyri Antoniou, said: “It was like something out of an action film or one of those TV programmes, like Police, Camera, Action.
“My mate said, ‘shall we give chase?’. I said, ‘let’s do it’.”
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As they ran into Goodmayes Avenue, the youngster spotted his pursuers.
Fellow BT engineer John Barrett, 47, said: “When we went round the corner he was walking as if nothing had happened.
“He turned round and saw us with our high-visibility jackets on and must have thought we were police. Then he legged it.”
The pair, who were carrying out work on a manhole cover in High Road when the accident happened, lost sight of the man close to Goodmayes station.
Mr Antoniou said: “At the time you don’t think about whether he’s carrying a weapon.
“Yes, he could have been carrying a knife, but you’re just full of adrenaline.”
Police say the pursuit started in nearby Chester Road, Seven Kings.
Several items were later removed from the Volkswagen for inspection, including at least one laptop.
Three men are in police custody.