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Three arrested after crashing stolen vehicle

Three arrested after crashing stolen vehicle

Bay of Plenty


Three teenagers have been arrested after crashing a stolen car and decamping from the vehicle. Police are now investigating whether the incident is linked to two aggravated robberies in the town over the weekend.

At approximately 3.45pm a member of the public called police to report seeing a vehicle containing men wearing balaclavas in Ngongotaha. The vehicle was confirmed as a Mazda stolen from the Central Mall car park in Rotorua on Sunday afternoon.

Police responding to today’s call spotted the vehicle which subsequently failed to stop for police. A pursuit was initiated but this was called off by police on more than one occasion for public safety reasons. The vehicle was spotted again on Te Ngae Street near the intersection with Sala Street and seconds later it crashed into a power pole.

Three men decamped from the vehicle. A police dog unit was deployed and other officers began searching on foot and in vehicles resulting in three arrests.

Detective Senior Sergeant Zane Smith said: “It’s too early to say whether this incident is connected with the weekend’s robberies but we are certainly considering that possibility. We know at least four people were involved in the robberies and still have to confirm whether there is a definite link between events at the weekend and today, so we still need public further assistance.

“In the meantime I would like to applaud the member of the public whose vigilance and decision to call police immediately about the suspicious behaviour she witnessed was a critical factor in the early arrest of these three suspects.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Rotorua Police on 07 348 0099. Information can also be provided anonymously to the organisation Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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