Watch the moment police in Yorkshire catch Bradford burglars hiding up a tree

Three burglars who targeted farms in North Yorkshire have been jailed – after officers caught two of them hiding up a tree.

Monday, 24th February 2020, 1:22 pm
Updated Monday, 24th February 2020, 1:26 pm

Abraham Fox, Ross Sutcliffe and William Lowther were all detained after burgling three farms and going on the run in the early hours of January 15.

The first two men were found 20 minutes after the final burglary at a farm in Plompton, near Harrogate, in which they snapped the locks to an outbuilding to steal tools.

After leading North Yorkshire Police on a chase down the A1, the men were encircled by a helicopter in a nearby field when they abandoned the Toyota Hilux they were in and fleeing on foot.

Abraham Fox, Ross Sutcliffe and William Lowther

Fox and Sutcliffe were seen on National Police Air Service (NPAS) cameras hiding up a tree's branches after discarding their shoes, followed closely by police officers.

Lowther had meanwhile been caught by police dogs just four miles from the burglaries hiding under a barrier of the A1.

The 48-year-old tried to escape again but was detained by police dog Bobby while trying to climb a six-foot fence.

He was also found with a balaclava, gloves and two torches.

The moment Sutcliffe and Fox were caught hiding from police up a tree

All three men were arrested and each pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary.

Fox, 28, of Rowanwood Gardens, and Sutcliffe, 29, of Stirling Crescent, were sentenced to two years and eight months in jail at York Crown Court on Friday.

Lowther, of Copgrove Road, Bradford, was sentenced to two years and four months.

Pam Luettke of North Yorkshire Police’s Investigation Hub said: “Waking up in the middle of the night to see people outside your home wearing balaclavas must be one of the most terrifying ordeals you can imagine. Unfortunately, we see all too often the distressing and long-lasting impact being burgled can have on victims

Ross Sutcliffe

“These criminals thought that by fleeing and discarding their shoes they’d be able to get away with their crimes but they were no match for our officers that morning, not least our police dogs and police helicopter who quickly hunted them out and the investigation team who pulled the case together to put them before the courts.

“These were organised attacks on hardworking people and whilst they admitting their guilt, the gang displayed no sense of shame for what they did and remained unapologetic throughout for the distress they caused. It is very satisfying to know that justice has been served for the victims and that Lowther, Fox and Sutcliffe are now behind bars.”

The heroic efforts of police dog Bobby was also acknowledged in the men's capture.

Detective Superintendent Steve Thomas said: "A huge thanks to all involved, and an extra mention to police dog Bobby who was celebrating his third birthday when he caught the first suspect running away and trying to climb over a 6ft fence, good lad.”

Abraham Fox

National Police Air Service’s Ian Vause said: “Using the on-board camera, the helicopter crew located all three suspects, two of which had run across a field and climbed a tree to try and avoid being detained. Crew monitored all of the suspects to ensure they didn’t escape and guided officers on the ground to them so they could arrest them.

“This was a great outcome and demonstrates how the NPAS help protect the public 24/7, 365 days a year from the air.”

William Lowther