A man has been jailed after police placed him at the scene of a car crash thanks to his love of McDonald’s.
The bizarre saga began in June this year when a speeding car was spotted by authorities on a highway near Annitsford in England.
Police followed the car — which was clocking speeds of up to 160km/h and contained four occupants — before it mounted a roundabout and crashed off the road.
The driver fled the scene — and minutes later, vehicle owner John Jamieson told police his car had been stolen while he was asleep.
“My car keys are missing, my car is off the drive and the house keys are missing,” he reportedly told an emergency services operator after reporting the “theft” over the phone, according to UK tabloid The Mirror.
But authorities were convinced the 29-year-old had been behind the wheel and began investigating.
According to Northumbria Police, officers were eventually able to track down evidence that proved Jamieson had been driving at the time of the crash after uncovering CCTV footage that showed him driving through a McDonald’s drive-through after the time he claimed his vehicle had been stolen.
The findings were backed up by discarded McDonald’s wrappers found inside the vehicle, placing him at the scene.
Police also discovered further footage of Jamieson speeding just before the crash that was collected from mobile phone videos taken by witnesses.
He was arrested and later convicted of perverting the course of justice, dangerous driving, no insurance, failing to stop for police and failing to stop after an accident, police said.
He was due to be sentenced in July but failed to show up to court. He was eventually found by officers and was sentenced to 10 months in prison after appearing at Newcastle Crown Court on September 16.
Detective Sergeant Jonny Pallace, of Northumbria Police, said “teamwork” had helped police nab their suspect.
“This was a great effort by multiple teams. We had officers from different departments working together to gather intelligence and bring in the suspect,” he said.
“Jamieson was driving recklessly on the roads during rush hour and this could have easily ended in tragedy.
“Driving dangerously will not be tolerated and this shows the lengths officers will go to take offenders off the streets and keep roads safe.
“I hope he enjoyed his McDonald’s because I don’t think they deliver to prison.”
Jamieson was also banned from driving for 45 months and he must take an extended retest before being allowed back on the road.
Police shared footage of Jamieson’s dangerous driving on Facebook as well as details of his arrest.
The post was inundated by comments from social media users, who were quick to praise the efforts of police and to share a laugh at the crook’s expense.
“I guess his Happy Meal didn’t turn out to be so happy,” one Facebook user joked, while another said: “Obviously one of the intelligent criminal element out there.”
However, it’s not the first time a suspect has been caught thanks to their fast-food habit.
Last year, a $6 McDonald’s receipt brought down corrupt US police officer Kyle Willett — and his entire team.
He was undone after breaking into a box that had been seized from local drug dealers and pocketing around $54,000 found inside during his lunch break.
When the box showed up empty, police were suspicious — until they looked closer and found Mr Willet had replaced the money with his own receipt for a McDonald’s cheeseburger and tea he had purchased shortly before swiping the cash.
He had used his credit card instead of cash to pay his $6 fast food bill, and investigators were easily able to match the numbers of the credit card printed on the receipt to Mr Willett’s.
A camera had also caught his car leaving the drive-through, and the time the picture was captured matched the time stamped on the bill.