Christchurch was hit with a mini crime wave yesterday with two bank robberies, a police chase and an alleged boy-racer attack on an officer.
The ANZ bank in Cathedral Square and Westpac in Riccarton Road were robbed within 30 minutes of each other yesterday afternoon.
Both robberies involved a man entering the bank and giving a note to the teller demanding money. Cash was handed over at the ANZ.
Police arrested and charged a 17-year-old man last night. He will appear in court today.
Three teenagers were also arrested yesterday afternoon after allegedly stealing a car and attempting to attack a police officer.
Southern Area Commander David Lawrie said three males, aged 16 to 17, were reported to be doing burnouts in Hornby yesterday afternoon.
A police officer found them on the side of a road changing the blown-out tyres of their allegedly stolen car.
Lawrie said the teenagers tried to escape and the officer caught one, who had a screwdriver on him.
The other two then allegedly started throwing screws and bolts and one took a swing at the policeman with a wheel brace.
The three will appear in the Christchurch District Court this morning facing charges of aggravated assault and unlawfully taking a vehicle.
Lawrie said it was lucky no-one was injured.
Earlier, a retired Christchurch man was caught up in a police chase when an allegedly stolen car smashed into his vehicle, leaving him badly shaken but uninjured.
Peter Hooper, 63, said he "was just in the wrong place at the wrong time but it could have been a lot worse".
Hooper said he was driving north along Breezes Road in Aranui and had slowed in a line of vehicles at traffic lights when he was struck by a car.
"There was a bang and next thing I was sitting on the pavement. I heard someone shouting, `get out, get out', and I thought there's no-one near me so it's got nothing to do with me," he said. "Then I looked up and saw the police were hauling someone out of the car. The next thing I saw two guys lying on the ground handcuffed.
"I was very lucky. I'm feeling a bit shaky and jumpy now."
Hooper's car was badly damaged in the crash and had to be towed away. Police southern communications spokesman Inspector Michael Coulter said the pursuit started in Linwood at 9.31am, and the crash occurred at 9.33am. No-one was injured in the accident.
Sergeant Stephen McDaniel, of the Papanui police, alleged the car had failed to stop and skidded sideways through a red light before crashing into Hooper's car and hitting a traffic light.
The 28-year-old driver was charged with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, reckless driving and failing to stop for police.
The front passenger was charged with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and the rear passenger was wanted on a warrant for an unrelated matter.
Christchurch police shift manager Trevor Cross said Monday was a busy day, but enough officers were on hand to deal with each incident.
"It's just one of those things; we have to deal with it as it comes about."
Warm weather and the start of the school holidays may have been contributing factors, he said.
"It's the holidays and we tend to get an increase in youth-type events by virtue of the fact it's holidays and they are out and about."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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