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Crawley police use golf buggies to track down suspected vehicle thieves in Tilgate Park

The resourceful officers were very grateful to Tilgate Golf Club for allowing them to use the buggies.

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When needed the local police are proving to be very resourceful and none more so when needing to track down suspects fleeing through a large wooded area.

After a silver Ford Transit van was reported stolen from London on Thursday, 8 August it was seen on Sunday, 11 August at 4.20pm travelling north on the A23 towards Crawley.

It failed to stop for officers and was followed to the Tilgate area of the town, where the driver and two men ran off on foot. The driver was quickly detained.

During a subsequent search for the two passengers, which took in the nearby Tilgate Forest golf course, resourceful officers utilised three golf buggies to help facilitate the search.

Tweeting their thanks to the golf club they said:

One man was detained but the third suspect has yet to be traced.

A 15-year-old boy and a 24-year-old man, both from Orpington in the London borough of Bromley, were arrested on suspicion of theft of a vehicle.

Both have since been released under investigation, with enquiries now being handled by the Metropolitan Police.

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Police increase presence across Crawley after four women grabbed or harassed by men

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Police are stepping up patrols in areas of Crawley after reports of women being approached by men in the town.

Officers are investigating a number of reports from the past week, but do not believe that all of the incidents are linked.

The first report involved a woman jogging in Grattons Park around 10am on Thursday (May 21). She was heading along a pathway towards Peterhouse Parade when a man appeared from the bushes and made an attempt to grab her around the waist.

The victim managed to evade the suspect, described as white, around 50 years old, with grey hair and a flushed face.

Around 7pm on Monday (May 25), a second woman was jogging on Haslett Avenue when she was approached by a man who put both arms around her waist. The woman was able to break free and run to safety.

This suspect is described as black, around 5′ 8″ and wearing a winter coat and black rucksack.

Two further reports were made to police on Tuesday (May 27) of women being approached by a man at Woodfield Road Playing Field. The first happened around 6pm and the other at 6.30pm. 

In both cases, the women reported being harassed by a man who was asking a lot of unusual questions and standing too close. No physical contact was made.

The man was described as Asian, in his 30s, around 6′ tall, of slim build and with a black beard. He was reported to be wearing a hat – possibly a sports cap – and casual clothing, including colourful, modern trainers.

Chief Inspector Shane Baker, district commander for Crawley, said:

“We understand these incidents are very worrying for those involved, and for those who live in the area.

“At this time, we are treating these as isolated incidents. We are investigating each case and following all reasonable lines of enquiry to find those responsible.

“Our officers are conducting high-visibility patrols in the town and we continue to encourage people to report any suspicious behaviour to us so we can act accordingly.”

Anyone with information about any of these incidents are asked to report to police online or by calling 101.

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