Speeding burglar misses children 'by inches' during Northampton school run

The burglar stole the green Skoda Octavia from Mill Lane at 8.30am.
The burglar stole the green Skoda Octavia from Mill Lane at 8.30am.

A fleeing burglar in a stolen car narrowly missed school children as he was chased by police through the streets of Northampton.

He sped down narrow roads during the school run and witnesses say he missed families "by inches."

The man took the green Skoda Octavia from Mill Lane at 8.30am today (February 10) using car keys stolen in a burglary.

Police persued him down Mill Lane, Spencer Bridge Street and through the St James area known as the Scottish streets.

Steve Parish, 64, from St James, was taking his nine-year-old grandson to school around 8.30am.

He said: "I was driving along Bruce Street with my grandson in the back, when a car came down the road at an extremely high speed. He cut the corner in front of Harlestone Road. He was so fast he was on two wheels at one point.

"There was a mother with two toddlers crossing the road in front of me and he missed them by six inches.

"Then he went straight towards me. I stopped solid. He missed me and the whole vehicle shook as he went past.

"He nearly hit another woman behind me, and then he was gone.

"Then a police car came through, but it went down the wrong way.

"His car was a blue-green-grey colour and it was going so fast I didn't see what it was. But I saw his face as he came right past me. His mouth was gaping open in panic."

The speeding burglar stopped on Abbey Street and fled on foot.

A police spokeswoman said: "A search has taken place but there have been no arrests.

"If anyone saw the burglary on Mill Street or has any other information, please call Northamptonshire Police on 101."

Mr Parish said: "God knows what speed he was going at but it's pure luck that three families weren't killed today.

"These streets are rat runs for criminals to speed through. This isn't the first time there's been speeding down these streets.

"Nothing will be done about it until a child is killed.

"They need to cul-de-sac these streets so people can't speed down them before a tragedy happens.

"I don't think my grandson understood what happened. All he could say was 'wow!'"

Anyone with information can contact Northamptonshire Police on 101. Alternatively, they can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.