An escapologist hamster who survived a 12 foot fall from an open window only to be chased down the street by a hungry cat had to be rescued by police officers last night.

Rolo fell out of a first-floor window ledge onto a car bonnet only to be chased by a black cat in Tritton Avenue, Beddington.

PCs Helen Hansen and Dave Kadwell had just dealt with a call in same street, when they saw Rolo fleeing from the cat at 11.30pm.

The officers waved their arms to stop the feline preying on Rolo and then began their own pursuit of the hamster who was darting between parked cars and around wheelie bins.

The police chase continued for a few minutes until PC Hansen saw her chance and threw her hat over Rolo.

The officers checked houses in Tritton Avenue until they found one with a hamster cage and a “beware of the hamster” sign in a first floor window.

The lucky one-year-old hamster was reunited with his owners, the Rook family.

Mr and Mrs Rook and their two children had been sleeping and knew nothing of Rolo’s escape.

Mum Debbie Rook said she was ‘flabbergasted’ by what had happened.

She said: “I can’t believe this tiny hamster has survived a drop like that. Until police knocked on the door we did not know he was missing.

"We are grateful to police for coming to the rescue."

Rolo belongs to her son, Bradley Rook, 13.

Sergeant Rob Bourne, who was in charge of the officers last night, said: “It seems Rolo had escaped his cage, fallen from the window, landed on a car bonnet in the driveway then stumbled into a cat before being saved by the officers. Rolo had quite a night.

“Our borough commander Guy Ferguson wants us to surprise and delight residents - and we certainly did surprise and delight this household last night.

“I’ve been in the job 12 years and never been required to deal with anything like this before.” Rolo’s cage is on the first floor window ledge and he had escaped after the tube at the back of the cage became loose.