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Car- jacked at gunpoint.

Byline: Mike Underwood

Armed police swooped to arrest two Teesside men after an armed car-jacking in Darlington.

The pair were stopped by police in Worsall Road, Yarm, at about 4.30pm yesterday after a dramatic pursuit.

Officers managed to overtake the car and forced it to a halt. Two men were ordered out of the vehicle at gunpoint and a handgun was recovered at the scene.

The arrests were sparked after a Renault Megane was stolen at gunpoint from a woman in Kendrew Street car park in Darlington, at about 1.30pm.

Police say the incident is linked to a similar car jacking in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, when a Ford Fiesta was stolen at gunpoint and used by suspected shoplifters at Morrison's in Darlington on Friday.

The arrests were witnessed by shocked residents who heard a police helicopter hovering over their homes.

Laura Stubbs used her digital camera to catch the action.

"It was shocking and surprising because you don't expect it to happen on your doorstep," she said.

"I saw the car was forced to stop by three police cars and then loads of officers with guns jumped out and told the two men to get out of the car.

"I had no idea there were guns involved when I went outside. It is scary to think what could have happened."

The Renault Megane was stolen from a woman as she was about to get in her car.

She was approached by two men when one produced a handgun, pointed it at her and demanded the keys before fleeing in the vehicle.

The terrified victim called the police and Darlington police alerted their colleagues in Cleveland who scrambled the force helicopter and armed response units to trace the stolen car.

Officers managed to locate the vehicle and after a short pursuit the suspects gave themselves up at about 4.30pm.

A Darlington police spokesman said: "This type of crime is extremely rare in County Durham and Darlington."

The suspects were being questioned at Newton Aycliffe and Darlington police stations and inquiries are ongoing.

* Anyone with information about either incident can contact Durham Police on 0845 60 60 365 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:News Local
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:May 25, 2005
Words:364
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