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Video from police helicopter shows pursuit of Langley auto theft suspects

Three Langley auto theft suspects picked a bad night to flee police on Thursday May 5.

Footage released by the RCMP shows their unsuccessful bid to avoid arrest was captured by the FLIR camera (Forward Looking Infra Red camera) aboard Air 1, the Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri operated by the RCMP Lower Mainland traffic section.

The video, viewable on the Langley Times and RCMP websites, followed a stolen Ford Explorer from above as it careened through city streets.

The pursuit began around 1:20 in the morning after the Explorer ran a red light at 200 Street and 56 Avenue.

The officer who saw it ran a check of the licence plate which confirmed it as stolen.

When police next spotted the Ford pulling out of a parking lot in the 20300 block of 56 Avenue around 2 a.m., Air One moved in.

When police on the ground tried to pull the Explorer over, it took off and turned onto 205A street where it slid up onto the sidewalk, knocked over a light standard, drove on a residential front lawn and narrowly missed two vehicles.

The action was all recorded by the FLIR.

The officer on the ground can be heard pulling back, telling the police dispatcher that the Explorer "was driving erratic, on the wrong side of the road."

Air 1 continued to follow overhead until the Ford pulled into the 5000 block of 207B Street and the occupants bailed out.

In the early morning darkness the FLIR registered their body heat as white moving shapes against a shadowy background as they ran from the SUV and ducked into a back yard.

"I'll light it up," the pilot told the dispatcher, preparing to use the 30-million-candlepower light on Air 1 to illuminate the scene.

Before he did, the FLIR recorded police moving in and dragging out the suspects from the ground-floor suite.

One officer can be heard over the police radio calling for handcuffs.

Three people, all from Langley, are facing possible criminal charges of theft, flight from police, dangerous driving, and hit and run.

They are two males aged 22 and 17 and a female aged 15.

If the case goes to trial, they will get to see the full unedited video when the Crown prosecutor presents it in court.

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