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A shop burglar who broke into a supermarket near Tonbridge was caught after he was pursued by police into London.

Jake Simms stole cash from a store in East Peckham and then led officers on a high-speed chase which ended near the River Thames.

Met Police

Kent Police was called at 11.40pm on Friday 23 June 2023, to reports intruders had damaged a window to enter the Co-op shop in Pound Road. Fast track enquiries led to the identification of a Toyota Prius and the vehicle was tracked with the assistance of officers from the Tactical Operations Command, as well as colleagues from the Metropolitan Police.

During a pursuit the car was driven at excess speeds, through red traffic signals, and in the wrong direction through one-way streets. It was eventually brought to a stop in the Bermondsey area of London, where it collided with a police vehicle.

Simms was at the wheel and he was arrested and taken into custody. The passenger fled and enquiries are ongoing to locate him. Simms, from Bermondsey, was later charged with burglary and dangerous driving. He was further charged with driving without a licence and driving without insurance.

On Monday 26 June, he pleaded guilty at Medway Magistrates’ Court and was remanded in custody, pending sentencing at a date yet to be confirmed.

The convictions coincide with the latest National Response Policing ‘week of action’ which began on Monday 26 June, to highlight the work carried out by officers who are often first at the scene of serious crimes, road traffic collisions and other incidents in need of urgent assistance.

District Commander for Tonbridge and Malling and Tunbridge Wells, Chief Inspector Stuart Paul, said: ’Policing is never an easy job and this particular incident saw our officers engaged in a lengthy pursuit, with the dangerous actions of Simms causing concerns for both their welfare and safety, as well as other road users.

‘Whilst we do everything we can to mitigate these risks, by ensuring all our officers are trained to the highest standards, it is also important to recognise their professionalism and dedication in serving their communities and people who may be in need of immediate help. All our teams, including our response officers, have our unwavering support and gratitude, and this week is a great opportunity for everyone in policing to thank them for their service.’

By Ed

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