A wanted man on the run from police forced another man to wear his clothes in an attempt to confuse officers chasing him.
The 32-year-old man was arrested shortly before 7pm yesterday by armed police in Palmerston North after lengthy evasion attempts starting just after 1pm.
The man was one of three people believed to be at a College St property when armed police swooped about 1.15pm
A 37-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman, both of Palmerston North, were arrested, and were expected to appear in the Palmerston North District Court today.
The 37-year-old man had been wanted for arrest since January on a number of driving and drug offences, and the woman had been wanted since October for assault and receiving stolen goods.
A cordon was set up around College and Cook streets while police deployed gas canisters to flush out the 32-year-old man, but the house was found to be empty about 4pm.
Detective Sergeant Tim Moffatt said the man was seen by staff running in Kelvin Grove two hours later, and armed police were sent out again.
Police put up cordons but he remained on the move, so they were instead trying to contain him.
He was seen walking up the driveway of someone he knew, and made the occupant there put on his clothes and walk around outside to distract police. That man wasn't a willing participant in the act and he wasn't charged, Mr Moffatt said.
After running through private properties and over fences, the offender jumped into the car of a man leaving work from a commercial property on Shelley St and told him to drive. The car did not make it out of the carpark before it was stopped by armed police and the man arrested about 6.40pm.
The man was to appear in the Palmerston North District Court today for a number of offences, both in Palmerston North and Whanganui, where he is believed to have committed an aggravated robbery with a firearm and assault with a firearm last month.
A 26-year-old man was also arrested and released with a warning for obstructing police at the College St address.
The 32-year-old received medical attention after his arrest for injuries to his feet from running barefoot.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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