Police tasered two men who were arrested on suspicion of kidnap after a man was bundled into a van at gun point in Thornton Heath.
Detectives have praised a member of the public who saw the commotion and immediately dialled 999 and the victim whose quick thinking actions in switching on his phone’s tracker helped officers locate him quickly.
The kidnappers were detained after they drove down a dead end following a police pursuit.
Police were called at 2.26am on today Monday (Nov 25) by a woman who could see a man being forced into the back of a van by three men on Keston Road. The third suspect is still being hunted by police.
A second call was received from a woman soon after who reported her husband being kidnapped. She said he had phoned her from inside the van and asked her to call the police immediately.
Officers attended the wife’s home address and spoke to her; shortly after, they were able to speak to the victim while he was inside the van. He used his phone to track his location and relayed this back to officers.
The message was quickly passed onto a nearby unit who were able to locate the van, which failed to stop for police. A pursuit ensured, concluding once the van drove down a dead end. The two occupants ran away; officers gave chase and tasered both suspects before arresting them. The third man was not in the vehicle when it was stopped.
Officers released the victim who was ‘extremely shaken’ from the back of the van. He told police that he was travelling home from work when he was approached by three strangers. They demanded that he get into the van but he refused. They then became violent, held a gun to his head and threatened him before forcing him into the back of the van and driving off. No firearm was discovered.
The man didn’t suffer any serious injuries, and he’s being supported by officers who are progressing the investigation.
Detective Inspector Mel Lillywhite, said: “This incident is an example of a true team effort. It is with thanks to the member of the public who heard the commotion, the swift actions of the call handler and operators and of course the officers who pursued the vehicle and detained the suspects. The victim also used quick-thinking to track his location on his phone.
“It’s so important that if you see a crime in action, or something that doesn’t sound or look right, call the police immediately. We would not have been able to respond so quickly if it wasn’t for the member of the public doing the right thing.
“We are working to trace the third suspect and I would urge anyone with information to call us as soon as possible.”
The two men are currently in police custody while enquiries continue.
Anyone who has information concerning this incident is asked to call police on 101 quoting 628/25NOV, Tweet @MetCC or call independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111.