Ambulance chase leads to drug factory arrests

PUBLISHED: 13:00 20 July 2012

Danny Hopkins

Danny Hopkins

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A PARAMEDIC chased two crooks in his ambulance in the dead of night and led police to discover a drug factory in Weston.

Danny Hopkins, who works with Great Western Air Ambulance, was working a night shift when he spotted a suspicious vehicle and alerted police.

The 41-year-old, who also volunteers as a special constable and works some shifts as a paramedic on the ground, followed the two men, keeping up with them until officers could intercept the vehicle.

When they searched it, 17 metal grates that protect trees on pavements were seized and a further search at a property in Weston led to the discovery of cannabis plants and drug-cultivating equipment.

Two men, both aged 35, were arrested for theft and one of them was also arrested for cultivation of cannabis.

Danny, a Weston father-of-two, said: “I got suspicious when I pulled up behind the vehicle and its lights were switched off. I followed the men for several miles and kept relaying where we were to the control room.

“I only just found out about the drug factory – but that’s great as it’s two for the price of one.

“This kind of thing happens a lot and I’ve become a bit of a magnet for it.

“I try to keep my two jobs separate – but if something suspicious happens, you just can’t turn a blind eye.”

The two men who were arrested on June 29 have been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

● The Mercury is currently running a campaign called Weston Super Summer. Reporters are taking a closer look at how you can help keep yourself - and others - safe this summer.

They have been spending time with emergency services and other key groups at the weekends to see exactly what issues they face.

See pages 18 and 19 for more.

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