Driver escapes police chase on foot

VICKI WATERHOUSE
Last updated 15:21 03/07/2012
Police chase
ROBERT KITCHIN/Fairfax NZ

IN PURSUIT: A man driving a stolen vehicle led police on a chase from Tararua to Manawatu.

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A man driving a stolen vehicle led police on a chase from Tararua to Manawatu, before taking off on foot into farm land.

The chase began about 8am Tuesday on Fergusson St in Woodville when a police officer signalled for the driver to pull over.

He was being pulled over because one of the windows in the car was smashed, which roused suspicion.

The man fled police in his Toyota Corolla and took off along Sowry Rd to McLean St, before heading down Oxford Rd.

He drove on to Saddle Rd and continued past the Manawatu Gorge.

Sergeant Tony LeSueur of Dannevirke police said at the top of Saddle Rd, the car slowed to a rolling stop to let out two rear seat passengers.

The two were picked up by police and taken into custody.

Police set up a road block and laid spikes just west of the Saddle Rd bridge into Ashhurst, but the man disappeared down a farm track before he reached the spikes.

He abandoned the car there and ran away on foot.

Mr LeSueur said the car reached speeds of up to 120kmh, but was not driving dangerously.

"The driving of the vehicle was actually reasonably good, obviously failing to stop, but it wasn't posing unnecessary risk,'' he said.

The car was reported stolen from Palmerston North last month, he said.

Police set up road blocks around the area and had a dog handler track the man through farm land into Whariti.

The dog was able to track the man for some time before it lost the scent.

The passengers in the stolen car were taken back to Pahiatua Police Station, and were believed to be associates of the driver.

They have both been charged with unlawfully getting into a vehicle, and one was also likely to face drugs charges.

Mr LeSueur said police came from Woodville, Dannevirke, Pahiatua and Palmerston North to hunt the driver.

The man remains at large.

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- Manawatu Standard

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