Person arrested after stolen vehicle is driven into Maitai River

SARA MEIJ
Last updated 11:21 08/10/2017
MARION VAN DIJK/STUFF

A water rescue team has been called in to help search the Maitai River for a person.

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Two people were arrested after a stolen vehicle was driven into the swollen Maitai River near Nelson.

Nelson Police senior sergeant Stuart Koefoed said a four-wheel-drive Holden Colorado was stolen from Murchison on Saturday morning.

He said a 27-year-old man and woman from Christchurch were arrested and would be appearing in the Nelson District Court on Monday on several charges. 

The woman was arrested in Nelson city after getting out of the car. She has outstanding warrants. 

Koefoed said the man took off in the car, leaving the woman behind. 

He drove up the Maitai Valley and ended up driving the vehicle into the swollen Maitai River at about 4pm on Saturday.

The man left the vehicle and was later tracked and located by a dog handler nearby.

Koefed said the man was charged with unlawfully getting into the motor vehicle. 

Koefoed said the man was uncooperative when asked if there were any other occupants in the vehicle, which resulted in a team of police officers searching the submerged car.

The Swift Water Rescue team searched the Maitai River and concluded there was no one else in the vehicle.

Koefoed said it was unsafe to recover the car from the river on Sunday due to the weather. 

Police were continuing enquiries into the case. 

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