Teens due in court after police pursuit

Four teenagers jointly charged with theft from a vehicle and unlawfully taking a vehicle, in relation to a police pursuit on Saturday, are due to appear in the youth court at Dunedin this morning.

It is alleged a 17-year-old was driving a late-model Toyota Hilux in which there were two 14-year-olds, a 19-year-old and another 17-year-old.

Police pursued the vehicle, which was allegedly stolen, from central Dunedin to Taieri Mouth about 2.30am on Saturday, before it was stopped with spikes and the teenagers arrested.

The 17-year-old driver, both 14-year-olds and the 19-year-old were jointly charged with unlawfully taking the vehicle.

They were also jointly charged with theft from a separate vehicle.

The driver was additionally charged with failing to stop and dangerous driving.

A police youth aid officer said the 17-year-old passenger was charged solely with unlawfully getting into a vehicle and would appear in the district court.

It was alleged the 17-year-old driver, 19-year-old and both 14-year-olds stole the car then picked up the other 17-year-old, he said.

Because the 17-year-old driver and 19-year-old were jointly charged with the 14-year-olds, they would initially appear before a youth court judge. Once pleas had been entered, the older defendants would be transferred to the district court.

The process eliminated the possibility of two defended hearings taking place in different court jurisdictions for the same charges, the youth aid officer said.

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