A POLICE helicopter was called in to assist in the pursuit of a stolen van near York.

North Yorkshire Police said officers followed the Ford Transit as it travelled into North Yorkshire from the Wetherby area at just before 9am yesterday.

"The driver failed to stop and led police on a pursuit that lasted several miles as the vehicles headed from Walshford towards York," said a spokesperson.

"A National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter helped track the suspect.

"Officers laid a 'stinger' device on roads in Long Marston but the suspect abandoned the vehicle.

"He made off on foot and was chased and detained by police."

The spokesperson said a Gateshead man in his 30s was arrested on suspicion of theft of a vehicle and motoring offences, and was taken into custody and then released on bail today while further inquiries are carried out.