A POLICE helicopter has been used in a several mile pursuit to catch a driver who abandoned a stolen van.

A man in his 30s from Gateshead, suspected of stealing a Ford Transit, was caught by North Yorkshire Police as the pursuit ended near York on Wednesday.

Officers had laid a 'stinger' device on roads in Long Marston, North Yorkshire but the man abandoned the van and made off on foot, shortly after 9am.

A National Police Air Service helicopter helped to track the suspect, and police detained the man where he was arrested on suspicion of theft of a vehicle and motoring offences.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said the man was taken into custody but has since been released on bail while further enquiries are carried out.