A BURGLAR'S getaway hopes were swiftly dashed by a stinger following a dangerous police chase.

Shortly after 5.30am on Saturday officers were contacted by a member of the public in South Tyneside who had spotted an alleged thief sat in the front seat of her car.

The victim reported that the offender had broken into her Cleadon home and stolen her handbag and car keys.

Within moments, he had fired up the ignition and made off in the vehicle.

Officers followed the occupant of the Skoda who was driving erratically and at high speed – posing a serious risk to other road users.

Within minutes police had set up a stinger which successfully burst the car’s tyres on Nevinson Avenue, with the driver losing control and later crashing into a roundabout.

In a desperate last bid for freedom, an occupant made off on foot – but it was only a matter of time before police found a 38-year-old suspect hiding in a nearby garden.

He was placed under arrest and has since been charged with a string of offences including burglary, aggravated vehicle taking and driving without a licence.

Chief Inspector Nicola Wearing, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was a fast-moving incident which unfolded after a woman realised she had been the victim of a burglary and saw the offender sat in the front seat of her car.

“Officers from various different teams were deployed in a bid to bring the vehicle to a swift and safe stop – and that became of increasing importance due to the manner of the occupant’s driving.

“Thankfully, some great teamwork led to a stinger popping the car’s tyres – and within minutes we had our suspect placed in handcuffs and on his way into custody.

“This was an incident that posed a real and serious risk to the public, so we were absolutely delighted with the quick outcome with nobody injured. I would like to thank everyone involved – and a man is now due in court to answer a string of charges.”

The man arrested has since been charged with a total of eight offences.

They are two counts of burglary, aggravated vehicle taking, failure to provide a specimen, driving without a licence, no insurance, common assault and a racially-aggravated public order offence.

He is due to appear before magistrates in South Tyneside today.