Early Morning Car Chase Ends With Crooks Caught In Beds

Paul Bateman, wife Katrina and 15 year old daughter, Kimberly slept soundly as three armed men broke into their Aylesbury home at around 4am recently. Taking the keys to the house, van and car, the men executed their well prepared plan and left as quietly as they had entered. The gang then turned their attention to the two-year-old BMW M3 parked in the drive.

The stolen car keys rendered both the alarm and immobiliser ineffective. The men then began to push the £28,000 car down the road. Their intention was to make it far enough out of earshot before starting the engine and completing the heist. They were unaware that hidden inside the vehicle was a TRACKER unit.

A neighbour, from across the street, had been woken by her young daughter crying in the middle of the night. On the way to tend to her child, she witnessed the whole event. Very sensibly, she didn’t turn on any lights or alert the gang to her presence. She calmly phoned the police, outlined the events and waited.

When the coast was clear, she came across the road and woke the Batemans with the astonishing tale. Paul immediately phoned TRACKER HQ. He said: "I spoke to the people at TRACKER and quickly told them what had happened. They quoted me an incident number and calmly told me to try not to worry. Then I phoned the police. Before I’d finished the first sentence, the officer told me that the TRACKER unit was already activated and that the police were hot on the trail of my car and the thieves."

Unbeknownst to the shaken family, a helicopter had been deployed, roadblock set up and police sirens screamed at the still country air. Winding the 25 miles from Aylesbury to Luton took the expert driver of the stolen vehicle 18 minutes, averaging 83 mph. With the powerful car, capable of 150 mph, in the hands of a reckless crew, police wisely dismantled the roadblock and continued the pursuit.

The car thieves were finally run to ground on the Uplands estate in Luton Bedfordshire, just over the Bucks border. They abandoned the car and tried to make their escape on foot, but were captured shortly after.

The TRACKER unit was activated at 4:11am; the car was in the hands of the police at 4:30am. Paul Bateman said: "I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend TRACKER to anyone. It’s not often that a product delivers so completely. TRACKER did everything that I was promised it would."

More than 580,000 vehicles in the UK use TRACKER technology. Police have recovered over 12,500 vehicles worth more than £242m since 1993 and made over 1,600 arrests.

Published 4 December 2004 Melanie Carter

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