Car transporter thief on rampage

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The driver of a stolen car transporter went on the rampage during a 40-mile police chase through two counties.

The Iveco lorry smashed through the barriers of a bridge and a factory gate during Wednesday's chase from Swaffham in Norfolk to Spalding in Lincolnshire.

A 20-year-old man from Pontefract, West Yorkshire, was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft and traffic offences.

The lorry, stolen in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, was stopped when the tyres were punctured with a stinger.

A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said the chase started on the A47 in Swaffham and carried on the A17 through Kings Lynn, Sutton Bridge and Holbeach before heading towards Spalding and ending in nearby Weston Hills.

'Extensive damage'

He said: "When the vehicle reached Sutton Bridge the barriers were down, but the vehicle did not stop and went straight through the barriers, causing extensive damage and narrowly missing another heavy goods vehicle."

Tony Robinson, bridge keeper at Sutton Bridge, told BBC Radio Lincolnshire: "Police asked me to drop the barrier - I saw the blue lights coming and a vehicle on the wrong side of the road coming straight for the barrier.

"He smashed into one barrier and then hit another one," he said.

He said the transporter narrowly missed a parked lorry and extensively damaged the barriers on the bridge.

The stinger device was set up and eventually caused the lorry to slow, but not before it crashed through the factory gates at Lincolnshire Field Products in Weston Hills.

"The driver of the vehicle got out and ran off but a short time later was pursued on foot by officers and a male was arrested," the force spokesman added.

He said the chase, that ended at about 1810 GMT, involved Lincolnshire and Norfolk Police cars and the Norfolk police helicopter.