Town gridlocked as search carried out with Wiltshire Police helicopter overhead

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: A picture taken from the Wiltshire Police helicopter gives an idea of the scale of the search near Malmesbury on Monday after a burglary at Yatton Keynell A picture taken from the Wiltshire Police helicopter gives an idea of the scale of the search near Malmesbury on Monday after a burglary at Yatton Keynell

A dramatic police hunt in Malmesbury led to the arrest of three Birmingham men suspected of burgling a house in Yatton Keynell, taking items including laptop computers.

The town was gridlocked yesterday lunchtime as about 12 police cars combed the bypass with the force’s helicopter overhead.

The action was caught on camera from the air as three men were picked up by police dog handlers near the BP garage.

Men aged 20, 25 and 29 were still in custody at Melksham this afternoon.

It all started at about noon on Monday when police received a call from a man in Sherston to say three men had been asking for diesel on his farm.

PCSO Durry Maule, on patrol in Malmesbury, saw three men fitting the description given by the farmer in the town and they fled when he asked them for details.

Meanwhile, police found an Astra in Station Yard with three laptops in the boot. 

A large scale search operation got underway just before 12.30pm in Malmesbury on Monday.

Men were spotted by members of the public heading towards Malmesbury bypass and, at 1.30pm, three arrests were made on suspicion of burglary.

Sgt Martin Alvis, of Malmesbury neighbourhood policing team, said: “This was an excellent response to this incident and I would like to thank those members of the public that assisted us at the time by giving us information straight away so we could act on it.”

The house in Yatton Keynell was broken into between 10am and 12.30pm and three laptop computers, five rings, a bracelet and a gold sovereign coin were taken.

Sgt Phil Connor, of Chippenham neighbourhood policing team, said: "We'd like to thank the community of Malmesbury for their patience. We appreciate there was some highways disruption but it was necessary.

"We are appealing to members of the public, particularly dog walkers, to keep a lookout around the river behind the abbey or Holloway Hill or in the fields towards Malmesbury bypass, where we believe items of jewellery may have been discarded."

Anyone with information should call police on 101.

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