This is the dramatic moment West Midlands Police put a stop to burglary gang who stole children's Christmas presents from under trees.
Video footage released this afternoon shows the crooks' stolen van swerving through traffic as it was pursued by police cars and the force's helicopter.
The pursuit ends with the van losing a tyre and police dogs cornering the raiders.
Darren Hackett, Francis Gilsenan and Daniel Sheridan broke into a house in Castle Gresley, near Burton-on-Trent, at 4.40pm on December 8 last year before loading gifts into the owner’s VW van and driving off.
Two hours later, they took presents from an address in Fazeley, Staffordshire, before trying to grab more gifts at 7.20pm from the home of a 77-year-old man in Heath Croft Road, Sutton Coldfield.
They tried to steal his car but were disturbed.
The dramatic chase began after the Transporter van's number plate was radioed across West Midlands Police units in the area after being spotted by a witness and police.
The chase ended on the A45 near Birmingham Airport the van driven by 31-year-old Hackett was hit by a police ‘stinger’, which deflated the tyres.
Gift-wrapped Christmas presents stuffed inside a duvet cover were recovered from the van.
The gang admitted three charges of burglary each, and Hackett also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving whilst disqualified.
Hackett, of Pool Farm Road in Acocks Green, was jailed for five years, whilst Gilsenan, 28, of no fixed address, and Sheridan. 20, from Tyseley Lane in Tyseley were given three years and two months.
Det Sgt Nick Barnes said: “These were particularly cruel crimes: they stole Christmas presents like games consoles that were clearly destined for young children. They’ll now be spending several Christmases behind bars.
“An alert witness phoned the van’s reg plate through to police…that one piece of information was all we needed to quickly direct police units to the scene and it wasn’t long before one picked up the thieves’ getaway vehicle.
“Arresting officers did a great job to monitor the van, which was driving very erratically, and bring the pursuit to a safe conclusion without injury to other road users.”Subscribe to our Newsletter