Officers from South Yorkshire Police’s Operational Support team were en route to an incident in Sheffield when they discovered the vehicle on its roof on the Dearne Valley Parkway.
And police have urged drivers not to drink and drive – so they can focus on catching ‘proper criminals.’
Posting about the incident on social media and responding to criticisms levelled at police, a statement said:
‘You should be out catching proper criminals’
‘You should be out catching burglars and car thieves’
“Nothing gives us greater pleasure than nabbing a burglar or a car thief, they cause chaos and hurt to our communities.
“But sometimes we have to spend time dealing with other incidents, which can tie us up for a while.
And sometimes these incidents are ones which could have been avoided.
Like this Mazda.
“Your Roads Policing Team were travelling to Sheffield along the Dearne Valley Parkway to a report of a vehicle just having been stolen by means of a burglary.
“When we came across this. It hadn’t even been called in on 999 yet.
“Fortunately the injuries were relatively minor, but it could have been so much worse.
“Three people were arrested and are now under investigation for driving whilst over the prescribed limit through alcohol.
“This has then led to a lengthy investigation, once the health of the occupants had been sorted. But it could have been avoided. If they hadn’t got in the car having had an alcoholic drink.
“We could have been targeting those criminals who cause such hurt across our communities.
“Yet we were mopping up after another avoidable incident.
“Drink driving kills. It can be avoided. Don’t drink and drive. Pretty simple really.
“Let us crack on with targeting those criminals which some repeatedly say we should be.”
Anyone with information about car crime in Doncaster and across South Yorkshire can contact South Yorkshire Police on 101, 999 in an emergency, or alternatively contact independent charity CrimeStoppers anonymously on its hotline number 0800 555 111.