Three men in a van were arrested at the Newhaven MacDonald’s drive-through shortly after a burglary at a storage unit in Barcombe Road, Moulsecoombe, followed by an assault in Lewes Road, Brighton.
The white transit van was spotted driving carelessly down Lewes Road, with the driver hanging out of the van verbally abusing other drivers just after 8pm.
Officers, including an armed response vehicle, and road policing officers followed the van to Newhaven before closing in on it at McDonalds and arresting all three occupants.
A large quantity of commercial gym equipment was recovered from the back of the van.
Just before the arrest the owner of the gym equipment confronted the suspects on Lewes Road, after being alerted by a witness that his units on Barcombe Road were being broken into.
However, the suspects drove the van at him and he was driven along a short time hanging onto the bonnet before being dumped near the entrance to Wild Park.
Detective Sergeant Helen Paine from Brighton and Hove CID said: “The victim was very brave in confronting the suspects and fortunately he was not seriously injured but is nonetheless very shaken and bruised by the whole experience.
“I am pleased at the swift arrests and recovery of most of the stolen gym equipment.
“Enquiries will be continuing today along with forensics and viewing of CCTV and we are keen to hear from anyone who saw the white van along with a blue van parked up on Barcombe Road at around 7.45pm.
“We would also like to hear from anyone who witnessed the assault on the victim on the Lewes Road.
“If you have any information then please call 101 quoting serial 1653 of 17/10 or you can leave a message anonymously with the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Two Brighton men aged 31 and 20 and a 34-year-old man from Seaford remain in custody for questioning.