A police officer was dragged down a Lancaster street by a car as he went to apprehend one of Britain’s most wanted criminals.
Brian Thexton, wanted by both the National Crime Agency and Durham Police, was spotted in a car in Aberdeen Road, Lancaster, at 9am on Friday, November 15.
The 37-year-old, driving a white Vauxhall Insignia, pulled over for the officer, who went to speak to him.
But as the policeman reached into the vehicle to remove the keys from the ignition, the car was driven away, trapping the officer’s arm and dragging him down the road.
He soon managed to free himself and was not seriously injured but the car was driven away at speed and mounted the kerb – narrowly missing pedestrians, Lancashire Police said.
The car was found a short time later having been set on fire on Fernham Carr Lane.
Thexton, originally from Durham, was this week named on a list of the UK’s most wanted criminals.
He is accused of being involved in robberies in which victims were forced to hand over alarm codes and is awaiting trial on drug charges.
It is unclear why he was in Lancaster.
Thexton is included on an ‘unlucky 13’ list of Britain’s most wanted criminals, thought to be hiding in Spain.
Detective Inspector Bev Foster, of Lancashire Police, said: “Following the incident this morning, 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.”
Information should be passed to Lancashire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.