Desperate crooks twice tried to ram Police Scotland motors off the road during pursuits
Reckless crooks who twice tried to ram police motors off the road are being hunted by officers from a specialist operation squad.
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The same three criminals are believed to have been involved both incidents in just five hours apart on Monday.
The trip fled from the scene after crashing a Volkswagen Tiguan into a police car at around 5.15pm in Eskfield Grove, Dalkeith. Two officers received treatment from an ambulance crew at the scene.
Shortly after 10.15pm, the same three men broke into a house on Strachan Road in Edinburgh stole the keys to a grey Mercedes GLA.
They took the £32,000 car – registration SM10 EEH – from the driveway and smashed through a security gate to escape, badly damaging its front end.
The 130mph Mercedes was then spotted by police on Ferry Road and a pursuit got underway towards Waterfront Broadway.
The driver made an attempt to crash into the police vehicle forcing officers to abandon the chase on safety grounds.
A police helicopter was deployed over the city to try to trace the car and the three men involved.
The last confirmed sighting suggested smoke was coming from the vehicle while it was heading south on Ferry Road Drive.
Another possible sighting reported it heading east toward Ocean Terminal, Leith and the Marionville area.
Appealing for information, Detective Inspector George Calder from Edinburgh CID, said: “We have a number of focused enquiries being conducted in the north Edinburgh area today as we seek to trace this stolen vehicle.
"I’d ask the public to be on the lookout for this grey Mercedes GLA parked in any area, or any sightings of it overnight. It has sustained significant damage.
“The Air Support Unit was deployed over the city and surrounding areas last night in further efforts to trace the suspects and the stolen vehicle.
“We are following a number of positive lines of enquiry in relation to these offences. I’d ask anyone who can help us trace the vehicle, or has any information on those involved in these crimes, to come forward and speak to officers as soon as possible.”
If you have any information on the incidents you should contact Police Scotland on 101 quoting incident number 3939 of October 25.
The force is currently targeting organised crime gangs stealing high-value motors to order.
In September, Police Scotland revealed suspicions that linked the theft 119 vehicles stolen from outside properties in Forth Valley, East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian, Fife and Dundee since May.
All of these offences are being investigated as part of Operation Greenbay – the ongoing campaign across the Central Belt, which investigates the theft of motor vehicles during housebreakings.
The break-ins and thefts primarily take place in the late evening, or early morning, when the occupants are in bed and there are fewer members of the public in the areas.
In some instances entry is forced to the property and the car keys have been taken after the suspects obtained them from near to the front door.
However, there have been a number of incidents where those responsible have used a signal amplifying device that picks up the frequency of the car key from outside the front door, allowing the car to be driven away without the property being accessed.