Southend wanted man Mark Box 'hit police pursuit cars'

A man who escaped from armed officers by smashing a van into pursuing police cars is the same person wanted over the theft of a gun hoard, police believe.

Officers are investigating the theft of thousands of pounds of shotguns and rifles from a lorry parked on an industrial estate in Basildon in April.

They believe Mark Box, 29, was at the wheel of a van that police tried to stop in Southend on Wednesday.

The public are warned to stay away from Mr Box, described as "dangerous".

'Needs to call us'

Mr Box, who is believed to live in Southend, is suspected to be the man who escaped from armed officers who tried to stop the van in Blenheim Chase in the town at 11:00 BST on Wednesday.

A police spokesman said the van "struck several police cars and vehicles belonging to local residents and motorists" as the suspect got away.

Det Ch Insp Stuart Smith said: "We strongly urge Mark Box to hand himself in otherwise he will be arrested by armed officers.

"He needs to call us or attend his nearest police station."

Four other people have been arrested and charged in connection with the theft on Basildon's Burnt Mills Industrial Estate on 18 April.

Essex Police said earlier this month some of the guns had been bought by people in Thurrock who believe they are airguns.

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