The children dropped to the ground, one by one. One of the teachers asked them to get up, but they refused.
“What are you doing?!” she shouted. “Get up now!” But when the police arrived at the scene, they immediately knew they were in danger…
One day, in the town of Capel, 30 children and adults went on the annual charity egg hunt. Mr. Bearley and his wife Emily had been organizing this event for the last 10 years.
The children loved this event and always looked forward to it. But this day would be different.
As the children began to split off into smaller groups, they heard a loud sound coming from above them.
They looked up and saw the National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter circling overhead. Then, they noticed one strange detail.
“It was really noisy, and we could see it said ‘police’ on the bottom. Then we saw a man running along the side of the field,” a nine-year-old girl told the newspaper.
“We could see him, but the helicopter couldn’t because it was hovering over the woods. We saw the man take his jumper off and put it around his head.”
A force spokesman said: “Initially, the presence of the police helicopter was enough to entertain the children and parents, but it didn’t take the intrepid residents long to realize they were witnessing a police pursuit set within their quiet rural community.”
Only then did the kids and adults realize they were in danger.
The Surrey Police had called the helicopter following a report of intruders at an abandoned building near Horsham Road in Capel.
“I’m sure the last thing the group of daring Capel residents expected when they set out on Friday afternoon was to abandon their Easter egg hunt to assist us in a police search, but the initiative they demonstrated proved to be invaluable,” said NPAS Sergeant Paul Sochon.
“The swift action taken by the group of parents and their children was the sort of thing you would usually associate with an Enid Blyton adventure, but their ingenuity proved a great help for our crews,” he continued.
The children’s quick thinking shocked the authorities. They didn’t expect this from six to nine-year-olds! So, what happened next?
The children and adults tried to catch the helicopter’s crew’s attention by jumping and shouting at the helicopter, but the team didn’t hear them.
Suddenly, the kids dropped to their knees in hopes of catching the police’s attention. They formed an arrow with their bodies which could only be seen from above. Would it work this time?
The pilot decided to check the woods where they had pointed, but he didn’t have high hopes.
After switching on the helicopter’s thermal imaging camera, he saw a human figure walking through the woods. He immediately reported this information to the officers.
The authorities caught the intruder a few minutes later. The NPAS crew then landed on the ground to thank the children for their efforts.
The kids said they were happy to assist them and even shared a few of their chocolates with the helicopter team. But who were the men the authorities were after?
A 27-year-old man and a 28-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of burglary in connection with the incident.
The pair were connected to the burglary at an abandoned building nearby. The men were later released on bail pending a trial.
The children were more than happy to share the story with the reporters. They were proud of themselves. ”We feel really proud – it was awesome,” one child said.
“It was really noisy, and we could see it said ‘police’ on the bottom,” said another.
“But the helicopter looked like it was pointing in the opposite direction. Then two of my friends said, “Let’s get into an arrow,” and we got into position on the ground,” another child said.
A nine-year-old girl added: “About five minutes later, the helicopter came back and landed in the field, and the officers came to talk to us.”
“They said they thought we were messing around at first, but they followed our arrow and caught the men. We feel really proud of what we did.”
Mr. Brearley and his wife Emily are the parents of one of the children that assisted in the police search.
That year, the kids raised £150 for a little boy being treated for leukemia. Emily said she wasn’t surprised by the children’s quick thinking as it was “typical of this exceptional little community.”
“We don’t even know the names of the officers who came and thanked our little heroes, but they were generous in their praise,” she added.