Suspected Sussex burglar stuck in the mud for 20 minutes escapes police twice

A man who was chased by police after a burglary in Sussex was trapped in some mud for 20 minutes before escaping.

Police said they were called to reports of a burglary at a shop in Blackbridge Lane, Horsham, at 12.45am on Thursday morning (July 22).

A witness reported seeing two men running from the scene and officers, supported by a dog unit, searched the area and traced a scent to a nearby block of flats, which was searched and discounted, a spokesman said.

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He added: “During a search outside a man was found in a heavily grown area next to a stream between Shandys Close and Ridgehurst Drive.

“After being briefly detained he fled on foot, fell into the stream and became trapped in the mud for around 20 minutes.

“Crews from West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service attended to assist with a rescue but the suspect freed himself and made off over the opposite bank of the stream.”

Police said they searched the area extensively using a police dogs, a drone and thermal imaging cameras but officers couldn’t find the suspect.

The spokesman said: “The shop suffered damage to its front door and a till containing cash was stolen.

“Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information which could help with our enquiries can report it online or by calling 101, quoting reference 0037 of 22/07.”

A spokesman for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service said: “We were called by Sussex Police at 1.26am this morning [July 22] to reports of a person stuck in mud to the rear of Shandys Close in Horsham.

“Joint Fire Control mobilised two crews from Horsham Fire Station along with the wade rescue team from Crawley Fire Station to the scene, but no action was required from firefighters and they booked away from the scene shortly before 3am.”