Getaway goes badly for suspects

RHONDA MARKBY
Last updated 05:00 29/06/2013

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It was very much a case of "cops and robbers" as police from both sides of the Waitaki River gave chase to suspected copper thieves yesterday.

The pursuit started when a member of the public contacted police, suspecting four people seen near a rural property in the Old Ferry Rd area should not have been there.

The vehicle they were in was followed by a member of the public until police could get to the area, Sergeant Mike van der Heyden, of Waimate, said.

But the alleged offenders' getaway went anything but smoothly.

First, the copper water cylinder tied into the boot of the vehicle came loose and bounced out on the road.

The driver following tooted his horn in an unsuccessful bid to stop the vehicle.

Then taking a culvert too fast proved unwise when the bumper and other panels came off the getaway car.

Oamaru police joined in the chase, with the vehicle and its four male occupants ultimately being stopped on State Highway 83 between Pukeuri and Kurow.

The four occupants were all from the Waimate area and Mr van der Heyden said they were likely to face charges.

A check of the property where the cylinder was thought to have been taken from showed the water had not been turned off prior to the cylinder being ripped out.

Police were also speaking to the four men in relation to the theft of a copper cylinder from another Waimate property earlier in the month.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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