Helicopter pilot foils burglary attempt

May 27, 2009

Augusta 119 English businessman Jeremy Taylor had just lifted off from his timber yard in his Augusta 119 helicopter when he spotted a suspicious white van. His yard gates were open and he quickly figured out that he was being burglarized. Noticing the helicopter, the van sped off and Taylor followed him.

Taylor followed the thief from Binham to the town of Wells-next-the-Sea, where the thief tried to lose him by making a U-turn, heading along country roads toward the market town of Fakenham and blending into traffic. Flying at 2,000 feet over a congested area, Taylor kept the van in sight. When the thief tried to hide in a wooded area, Taylor hovered for 20 minutes and waited for him to emerge.

Taylor telephoned his sister and mother and asked for their help. The two women caught up with the van on the outskirts of Fakenham and noted its registration number.

The thief eventually abandoned his van in the village of Stody and fled on foot. Taylor landed his helicopter and called police. The suspect, Justin Holden, 28, was arrested at his home in nearby Briston. He admitted to stealing firewood logs, pitchforks, diesel cans, and a tractor battery, and was given a conditional discharge by the court.

Taylor said, “I was determined to catch him because I have had break-ins before, and it annoys me that people are prepared to break into other people’s property.” Taylor said that he was disappointed that Holden received only what amounts to a slap on the wrist.