A DISTINCTIVE trail bike was used by the arsonist who torched a police helicopter earlier this week.
The chopper - worth £4.3m - was set on fire at the Elmdon airfield in the early hours of Monday morning.
Yesterday it emerged that officers had found the charred remains of a bike close to the scene of the crime.
Detectives want to hear from anyone who spotted the yellow-and-white model - identified as a Suzuki DZR 400cc - prior to the attack.
Chief Insp Mark Payne, head of the force press office, said: “We want to hear from anyone who knows where this bike was kept in the run-up to the incident.
“The helicopter had flown hundreds of missions, caught countless criminals and was a key tool in combating crime. This was a crime against the whole community.”
Investigators have said that they are making “good progress” in their enquiries - studying CCTV and continuing forensic work. But it’s residents in the Marston Green, Stechford and Bickenhill areas who could hold the key to catching the culprit.
“Did you see a bike like this on a trailer or did you see it being ridden in the area in the days or weeks leading up to the offence?” asked Chief Inspector Payne.
“You might have had a bike like this stolen or you might be a retailer who sold one recently. However small the piece of information you have, it could be crucial.”
Fitted with state-of-the-art surveillance equipment, the Eurocopter EC-135P2i was extensively damaged in the attack. Moves are already underway to find a permanent replacement - although police say air cover was restored within two hours of the arson.
Anyone with information is urged to call the investigation team on 0845 113 5000 or call the Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555 111.