Wanted man seized in Tipton rooftop stand-off

This was the moment one of the West Midlands’ most wanted men was arrested as police descended on a Black Country street.

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Drama – the scene as officers attempt to talk the suspect down from the roof

Officers were called to Bridge Street, Tipton, in an effort to find a different suspect who was wanted for stealing a van from a pub car park in Tipton last month.

They arrested a 25-year-old, but a second man, 34-year-old Gavin Reilly, was also found at the scene.

Gavin Reilly — suspect
Gavin Reilly — suspect

Police say he was wanted for a series of robberies at shops and petrol stations across the Black Country where cigarettes were stolen.

He allegedly climbed onto a roof and threw tiles at officers on the ground before they talked him down. He was arrested on suspicion of robbery and taken into custody.

A police helicopter was also involved in the operation which took place on Saturday morning.

Susan Whittaker, 54, of Toll End Road, said: “I’ve never seen anything like it. It was completely out of the blue.

“One minute there were just a few people milling about and then all of a sudden out of nowhere came all these police cars. I couldn’t see what was happening but they were all crowded around one part of the street. There was a lot of shouting.

“I heard someone had been arrested. I hate to think how long he had been hiding out there.

“It just proves it’s no good running from the law, I suppose.”

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A shop worker in Bridge Road said: “There were about 15 cars there, some vans and some dogs. It all looked very dramatic but no-one really knew what was happening.”

Police took to Twitter to label the success of the arrest as ‘excellent’.

Traffic officers from West Midlands Police said: “Operations dogs and traffic support in the arrest of West Midlands most wanted, one in custody, excellent arrest.”

And the Birmingham branch of the National Police Air Service added: “In a manner that looked like flying we were blown rather bumpily to Tipton for wanted person on roof who came down as we were overhead.”

Pictures were tweeted of the dramatic scene showing several police cars parked in Bridge Street. Residents were shocked to see the large police presence in their area and also went online to tell of the drama.

Tipton resident Brendan Dawes took to Twitter to say: “What’s happened in Tipton didn’t know there was that many police knocking about.”

And fellow user Thom added: “Well, my street got interesting today.”

Names are regularly added to West Midlands Police’s most wanted list, which is on the force’s website. Names recently added include Nikolas Gabor, who is wanted for burglary and theft, and Waseem Saddique, who is wanted for conspiring to pervert the course of justice.