Police nab man after three-hour evasion

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 11:04 10/07/2014

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A Blenheim man evaded police for almost three hours yesterday but was arrested after crashing his car and threatening people with a knife.

Police started looking for the man about 4am after he drove away from the scene of a domestic incident in Blenheim.

Tasman police spokeswoman Barbara Dunn said 40 minutes later a man filled the same car that left the Blenheim house with fuel at the BP service station on Main St and drove off without paying.

Police tracked the car to Riverlands, south of Blenheim, but the driver failed to stop.

Sergeant Graham Single, of Blenheim, said police followed the car but abandoned the chase when it headed towards Dashwood Pass.

The car reached about 120kmh, Single said.

Police had a "fair idea" who the man was, and decided to pull out of the chase for the safety of the public.

About 6am police were called to a house in Ward after the occupants were threatened by a man with a hunting knife.

They had found the man in their driveway.

Police believed it was the same man they had been chasing.

He was allegedly attempting to steal a car when he was disturbed by the people in the house, Single said.

The man then left the house on foot and walked towards Ward.

About half-an-hour later a police dog handler tracked him down one kilometre south of Ward.

His car was later found crashed and abandoned off State Highway 1, near Ward.

The man was charged with aggravated burglary, common assault, threatening behaviour, failing to stop for police, dangerous driving, drink-driving, possession of cannabis, possession of utensils, and three charges of fuel theft.

He is due to appear in the Blenheim District Court today.

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