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Arrested man drove off in police car

PUBLISHED: 09:44 08 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:59 22 October 2010

Police officers involved in catching robber Minnie Boy Lee were left red faced as after they arrested him he managed to drive off in the police car which was left unattended with keys in the ignition.

Police officers involved in catching robber Minnie Boy Lee were left red faced as after they arrested him he managed to drive off in the police car which was left unattended with keys in the ignition.

Norwich Crown Court heard that Lee was arrested on October 30 last year, a day after the robbery, when he was spotted driving around Norwich in the getaway car.

Simon Spence, prosec-uting, said that unfortun-ately Lee was left in the unattended police vehicle, a Ford Focus, and the keys had been left in the ignition.

"Lee drove off in the police car. It was later recovered by police at Mile Cross Travellers Site - at which stage it had sustained damage amounting to £2,300 in total."

After the court case, Supt Jim Smerdon commented: "This was an unfortunate incident during a difficult and complicated arrest. The situation was recovered very quickly with very little damage caused to the police vehicle and no one was injured."

He added: "We have reviewed the incident and have taken note of any lessons to be learned. These violent career criminals have received significant sentences for their part in this crime."

It is not the first time officers from Norfolk police have been caught out in this way.

In 2002, two Norwich officers left keys in the ignition of a marked force car in Tombland and the Ford Fiesta car was later found abandoned in Thorpe.

The officers leapt out of the car to give chase to a man after a fracas outside the Ikon nightclub and while they were busy in pursuit of the man, the police car was taken and was later found abandoned. However on that occasion there was no obvious damage to the vehicle.


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