A policeman apprehended a runaway suspect – by BARKING at him like a force dog.
Traffic officer PC Steve Hutton was on patrol when he tried to pull over a suspicious vehicle with four youths inside.
But after putting on his blue lights the MG 25 sped off and joined the motorway with PC Hutton in hot pursuit.
His colleagues brought the vehicle to a halt at the next junction using a stinger device but the occupants then fled on foot.
The suspect was so terrified he stopped in his tracks – enabling the quick-thinking copper to arrest him on suspicion of aggravated taking a vehicle without consent.
He was later released pending further enquiries and officers are still searching for the other occupants of the car.
PC Hutton, 44, said: “I chased the rear side passenger and managed to keep up for 20 seconds but then couldn’t see him.
“I shouted out I was a police dog handler and to stay still. I then let out a couple of barks.
“I must have had a convincing bark because he stopped. He turned around and looked confused.
“There was a few seconds that passed and he looked bewildered there wasn’t a dog. I thought I’ve got to get to him quickly before he realised.”
The dramatic pursuit began in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, in the early hours of last Thursday night (02/06).
The dark blue MG raced onto the M4 at junction 16 and came off at junction 17, where it was brought to a halt in the Toothill area of Swindon.
But it is not the first time PC Hutton – who joined the police force 26 years ago to fulfil his childhood ambition – has used the technique to apprehend a suspect.
He explained: “I’ve done it before when I was based in Salisbury and we were trying to get a man at a school.
“He ran across the school field and I knew we were never going to catch him, so I let out a couple of barks.”
He has also faced some friendly teasing from his colleagues. “There’s been a few funny remarks,” he said.
“They have been things like I should work for the dog unit but wouldn’t need a dog.”