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Suspected Burglar Shuts Rail Line After Climbing Tree

Wednesday 13th August 2014

A suspected burglar has caused disruption for commuters after climbing a tree overhanging a railway line in South East London and refusing to come down.

The man had been in the tree near Charlton station since 2am.

Rail operator Southeastern says it was forced to close the track, including during this morning's rush hour, as the tree overhangs the London bound track.

He had been chased by police after an attempted burglary at a nearby retail park.

A British Transport Police spokesman said this morning: "Our officers were called to a trespass incident near Charlton station at 2am on Wednesday 13 August, after reports of a man on the tracks.

"Colleagues from the Metropolitan Police Service and London Ambulance Service are also in attendance.

"The man is currently still on the scene, and specialist officers are talking to him in order to resolve the situation."

London-bound services were diverted or delayed, and tickets were accepted on the Underground and buses.

A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police said: "Police were called to reports of an attempted burglary at a commercial unit on the Stone Lake Retail Park, SE7, at 1.50am on August 13.

"On arrival, officers identified a suspect and began a pursuit which also involved the Metropolitan Police's Air Support Unit, during which the man was observed running close to rail lines.

"The suspect subsequently climbed a tree next to the rail lines off Barney Close."

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Update: BTP got the man down at 7pm aftersetting up scaffolding.