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Escaped prisoner's stolen car found in Rotorua

Escaped prisoner's stolen car found in Rotorua

The car believed to have been stolen by escaped prisoner Lex Miller last week has been found in Rotorua this afternoon.

The Bay of Plenty Police District Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Tim Anderson, says that following media coverage this morning, Rotorua Police were notified that the car was at a Rotorua backpackers hostel.

Detective Inspector Anderson says the car was left at the backpackers on Tuesday 30 August.

"Following some inquiries around this, we believe that Miller stole a burgundy Holden Rodeo ute from a car dealership in Rotorua also on Tuesday morning. We believe this vehicle was then involved in a petrol drive-off at a petrol station on Te Ngae Rd, Rotorua, later that same day.

"Obviously this is an important development and we'd like to thank both the media for their coverage, and also for the person who contacted us about the original stolen vehicle. It means that we can focus our efforts from a new starting point."

The car that Miller is now believed to be driving is a 2005 burgandy Holden Rodeo 4x2 Ute, with the registration number CWA630. (To download a photo of this vehicle, please go to the media release listing on www.police.govt.nz )

"We are now urgently seeking any sightings of this ute since Tuesday afternoon. If anyone has seen Miller or this car, please contact your local Police Station or call 111 as soon as possible.

"Miller has family connections in the Whakatane and Eastern Bay of Plenty area and may be in this area. He is considered to be dangerous and should not be approached. If you see him, please contact Police immediately."

Miller escaped from Rangipo Tongariro Prison near Turangi last Thursday afternoon. He was serving a seven year, eight month sentence for the kidnapping and attempted murder of his ex-wife.

He is European, aged 48 years and is approximately 173cm tall (5foot8). His hair is short and sandy brown in colour. He is described as a medium, fit/wiry build.

ENDS

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