Drunk driver flees crash and passenger steals patrol car
"Police commend public for assistance after drunk driver flees crash scene and passenger steals patrol car"
Hamilton Police are thanking members of the public for their assistance after officers attending an alcohol related crash found the intoxicated driver had fled the scene.
Waikato Prevention Manager, Inspector Paul Carpenter, said the crash happened in the suburb of Melville about 7.15am.
"The car had propelled through some stay wires of a large power pole before crashing into some bushes at the front of a Mahoe St property and rolling back down the driveway.
Bystanders helped responding officers by indicating the direction of flight the driver took and she was found hiding in a bed in a bedroom inside a house on the opposite side of the road.
Though known to the occupants of the house the woman was not an invited guest.
"As our staff struggled to remove the 30-year-old woman from the house and get her out to the patrol car members of the public alerted them to a male passenger from the car who had gained entry into a marked patrol car and driven off.
"The patrol car was located by our staff about 20 minutes later undamaged by Hamilton's Lake Rotoroa."
The patrol car had no firearms or taser secured in the vehicle's safe at the time of the theft.
Mr Carpenter said while a review will take place in regards to how an offender gained access to a patrol car it was important that the assistance given by the public following the initial crash was acknowledged.
"The driver was returned to the Hamilton Central Police Station where she returned a breath alcohol test result of 807mgms, the legal limit for a fully licensed adult driver is 400mgms. She has been charged with dangerous driving and excessive breath alcohol, third or subsequent offence.
"Investigators are meanwhile following lines of enquiry into identifying and locating the offender who took the patrol car."