UK
16/11/2013 10:38 GMT | Updated 16/11/2013 10:42 GMT

'Most-Wanted' Criminal Brian Thexton Evades Police After Speeding Away From Officer

Wanted criminal Brian Thexton
PA
Wanted criminal Brian Thexton

One of Britain's most-wanted criminals has evaded police, after driving off at high speed and injuring an officer after police tried to pull his vehicle over.

Lancashire Police said Brian Thexton, 37, from Durham, was sighted in a white Vauxhall Insignia at around 9am yesterday and was asked to pull over by an officer, in Aberdeen Road.

The officer walked over to the car to speak to the driver, and reached into the vehicle to remove the keys from the ignition, a spokesman said.

"At this point the car was driven away, trapping the officer's arm and dragging him a short distance down the road. Fortunately, the officer freed himself before he was seriously injured. The car was then driven away at speed, mounting the kerb, narrowly missing pedestrians."

It was found a short time later having been set on fire on Fernham Carr Lane.

Detective Inspector Bev Foster said: "Following the incident, we have set up a team of officers dedicated to tracking this person down and we are liaising with a number of other forces across England as well as the National Crime Agency.

"We are particularly keen to speak to anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity on Fernham Carr Lane, or perhaps may have seen the vehicle being abandoned to get in touch as soon as possible.

"This man has shown himself to be dangerous and to have very little regard for his actions and so we would ask the public to be vigilant and not to approach him but report any sightings to the police immediately - any details the public may have could be crucial.

"If anyone thinks they have seen him or if they have any information at all, then I would urge them to come forward and contact us."

People with information can contact police by calling 101, or can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

On Thursday, the BBC reported that Thexton is on a list issued on Thursday of 13 of Britain's most wanted criminals thought to be hiding in Spain.

He is accused of being involved in robberies where a gang would tie up homeowners and force them to give up alarm codes and safe combinations.

In one the gang impersonated police officers to dupe the victims into opening the door, before brandishing a pick axe handle and a baseball bat.

He is also awaiting trial for conspiracy to supply cocaine, over claims that he was the middleman in the sale of half a kilo of the drug, and had admitted conspiring to steal cars and machinery.

The list was published as part of Operation Captura, a scheme to trace criminals who are thought to have fled to Spain.