The timber, estimated to be worth £3,000, was stolen from a building site in Blyth.
Police officers were alerted to the theft from the site in the Plessey Road area of the town at about 11pm on Tuesday, May 10.
A number of vans were then seen to leave the area and were followed by officers from the force’s motor patrols department.
One van was swiftly found abandoned nearby and was uplifted, and a short time later, police spotted a second vehicle travelling southbound on the A19 towards Seaham.
Officers pursued the vehicle before the occupant got spooked and made off on foot. Inside the vehicle, police found more than £3,000 worth of suspected stolen materials thought to belong to the Blyth business.
Inspector Matt Sykes, of Northumbria Police’s motor patrols department, said: “This was an excellent outcome and the result of some outstanding work from the team.
“After we were made aware of the suspicious activity up in Blyth, we were deployed to the area and quickly located one van that had been left abandoned nearby.
“It was then a case of using every tactic at our disposal in order to track the other vehicles thought to be involved – and soon enough one was identified travelling southbound past Sunderland.
“Knowing we were hot on their heels, the occupants fled empty-handed – and we were able to successfully retrieve a significant stash of timber and building materials. Enquiries are ongoing to locate those involved.
“I would like to thank everyone who played their part in allowing us to seize these suspected stolen items, and hope our robust response offers reassurance to businesses across Northumbria. We will continue to do all we can to pursue thieves and ultimately bring them to justice.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of their website or by calling NP-20220510-1249.
The police are also looking to take on more staff. Anyone interested in joining their 6,000-strong police family can apply now to its uniformed officer recruitment programme by visiting https://careers.northumbria.police.uk/police-constables/