A prisoner was on the run last night after officers escorting him to a crime scene in Birmingham were ambushed by masked men.
Convicted burglar John Davis, a 25-year-old prisoner at Swinfen prison in Staffordshire, escaped at about 12.30pm as he was showing officers the location of a stolen vehicle in the Billesley area of the city.
The unmarked police vehicle was rammed by a black Volvo whose masked occupants freed Davis after smashing the windscreen of the police car with baseball bats.
Det Chief Insp David Walker said last night it was an "amazing and highly unusual set of events".
"It is a regular occurrence that prisoners come out of prison to talk to the police about offences they have been involved in. It is in the interests of the offender and the community."
Davis and the masked duo later met up with the occupants of a blue Audi in Chinn Brook Road and both vehicles drove off in convoy towards Solihull.
Davis is described as 6ft 2ins, of skinny build with short ginger hair. He was serving a jail term for burglary and theft.