Man steals police patrol car leaving officers scrambling
Unsuspecting police officers were caught on the hop when an arrested man decided he wasn't going down easily.
Instead of cooling off in the back seat of the police car in Hamilton, he jumped into the driver's seat and took off.
An officer was forced to hijack a woman's car in order to chase it down.
The hijinks unfolded in front of bystanders who filmed the speedy getaway from the side of Clarkin Rd on Monday afternoon.
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A witness said two officers stopped a car travelling along Fairfield Rd.
One of the officers escorted a "crying man" into the back of a patrol car, he said.
"He was in the passenger seat and they pulled him out - he was kicking and screaming to get into the police car."
While officers searched the car, the man made his move.
"She saw the guy popping his head over the driver's side, looking at the ignition - like twice, then he started climbing over.
"He just jumped it real quick."
By the time the woman pulled the phone up to video the drama, the culprit was pulling out in the police car.
"[The officer] looked a bit stunned - he started walking after his car and then he ran back," the bystander said, laughing.
"His partner was in the car already going through the passenger side."
Realising his car was gone, the officer asked the woman to jump out.
The video shows the police officer jumping into the driver's seat while the woman attempts to get in the back seat.
"He almost took off without the lady," he said.
"He didn't look too streetwise that's for sure."
Hamilton City Area Commander, Inspector Greg Nicholls, confirmed police arrested a man after stopping a car on Clarkin Rd on Monday placed him in the back of a patrol car.
"Whilst police were outside the vehicle the arrested man has climbed through from the back seat and driven off."
The patrol car was subsequently located a short time later in Hamilton.
"The taking of a police vehicle is a serious offence."
Nicholls said police know the identity of the offender and are following lines of enquiry to locate him.