Motorway pursuit of lorry full of ‘stolen booze’ shuts down road

A police chase involving a ‘stolen’ lorry fully of illicit booze shutdown a major Midlands motorway as police looked to catch those inside. A heavy goods vehicle on cloned plates failed to stop northbound for officers from the Central Motorway Police Group on the M42[1] near Solihull[2] on Friday (September 8).

So a road closure was put in place just before Junction 7, the M6 turn off at around 10am. The lorry was ‘stung’ using a device which spikes the tyres to deflate them, but still those inside continued, with a further stinger used just before junction 9 the turn off for Sutton Coldfield[3], Lichfield[4] and Kingsbury, to deflate the rear tyres.

The lorry driver then exited the motorway but then chose to drive the wrong way down the southbound exit slip road. The HGV rammed a police vehicle and hit several other cars, leaving an officer with suspected broken ribs, eventually coming to a stop blocking the slip road.

The driver was still unwilling to give up according to police and ‘ran off along the motorway’, but was ‘swiftly detained’ with the help of the police helicopter. A further four men were arrested in the truck, one passenger and three in the back of the vehicle.

There officers also found some 200 crates of ‘stolen spirits’. One of the men in the lorry required hospital treatment for his injuries said to have been caused when the vehicle came to a stop.

A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service[6] confirmed its attendance and said: “We were called to reports of a collision involving a car and a lorry on the northbound carriageway of the M42, near to junction 9, at 10.18am. One ambulance, two paramedic officers and a MERIT trauma doctor attended the scene.

“On arrival we discovered three patients. We treated a man for potentially serious injuries before he was taken to Heartlands Hospital. Two further patients were assessed and discharged at the scene.”

The lorry was seized for forensic examination and the five men aged between 22 and 40 were arrested remain in custody and are set to be questioned. The incident led to traffic delays on the M42 with queues from junction 9 back to 7a and also backing up on the M6 at junction 4a. The road was reopened around 1pm when the delays were down to less than 10 minutes.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police[7] said: “This was a dynamic incident seeing officers from West Midlands, Warwickshire and Staffordshire working together to arrest these acquisitive criminals and bring a safe conclusion to what can only be described as dangerous action with complete disregard to other road users.”


  1. ^ M42 (
  2. ^ Solihull (
  3. ^ Sutton Coldfield (
  4. ^ Lichfield (
  5. ^ Hit-and-run teen driver deliberately mowed down man after dispute (
  6. ^ West Midlands Ambulance Service (
  7. ^ West Midlands Police (