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Fleeing Driver North of Whangarei

A man has been arrested following an incident involving four stolen cars fleeing from Police north of Whangärei this morning.

The incident started about 8.45am when a police patrol car spotted a stolen car on State Highway 11 (between Puketona and Paihia) following information provided by a member of the public. A short time later another stolen car was located nearby.

These cars took off in different directions and one was found abandoned on Kaipatiki Roadway, off State Highway 11. A police dog handler went to the scene to try and locate the driver, but was unsuccessful.

While the dog handler was searching for the driver of the abandoned car, the second car was found abandoned in a nearby quarry. A car belonging to a quarry worker was found to have been stolen.

Not long after a police patrol car, which was in the Hukerenui area, saw the car that had been stolen from the quarry. The police car stopped the stolen vehicle on the side of the road. The stolen vehicle rammed into the police car and took off heading north along State Highway One.

Although damaged in the incident the police patrol car managed to follow the stolen car, which headed of the state highway into the Motatau area.

Police called for assistance from a small plane, which was in the area, to help spot the stolen vehicle. The driver of the stolen car then abandoned the car and stole another car from Motatau School.

The school caretaker tried to stop the stolen car leaving by using his ride-on lawnmower, but the driver managed to get away.
The stolen car then crashed about 2km from the school. The driver ran off and was located about 12pm by another dog handler who had been sent to the scene.

During the incident Police had set up cordons on Kaipatiki Roadway and in the Motatau area.
The 26-year-old arrested man has been charged with unlawful taking and will be appearing in the Whangärei District Court tomorrow. Further charges are likely.

Police are continuing to search for another offender who abandoned one of the two vehicles off Kaipatiki Roadway.

Senior Sergeant Rob Huys says this was a very fluid situation involving several stolen vehicles, multiple scenes and two offenders intent on evading capture.

"It required a quick and well co-ordinated response by police, which involved the Northland Police District Command Centre working with the Northern Communications Centre (111 emergency call centre) to locate and stop an offender."

Mr Huys says no police staff or members of the public were injured during the incident. He would like to thank the public for their help in providing information on the movements of the stolen vehicles as the incident progressed.

ENDS

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