Four police vehicles were damaged and an officer injured after a fleeing driver in a stolen van was finally stopped in east Auckland this afternoon.
The drama started at about 12.40pm in the upmarket suburb of Remuera when the owner of a property arrived home to find his house had just been burgled and the offender was making off in his Toyota Hiace van.
The owner challenged the offender and tried to stop him, but his attempts were unsuccessful.
Minutes later police located the stolen van heading south and the police's Eagle helicopter was used to direct officers who had to abandon the chase because of excessive speed.
The offender continued to drive dangerously, underpassing on the inside of lanes and deliberately driving into oncoming traffic.
He drove into Pakuranga and during a police attempt to spike the vehicle rammed two patrol cars.
With deflating tyres he continued on to Ti Rakau Drive before heading into a dead-end street where the man continued to drive at police vehicles.
An officer sustained a cut hand during the incident, but no one else was injured.
The offender was eventually apprehended shortly after 2pm in Kentigern Close.
Inspector Shawn Rutene said the offender was determined to drive dangerously despite efforts by police to safely stop him.
"He showed absolutely no regard for the safety of other road users and our staff and we're all very grateful this escapade ended with only minor injuries to the vehicle's owner and one of our officers."
He was arrested and taken to Mt Wellington police station for questioning.
- © Fairfax NZ News