Man arrested after alleged fuel theft

The driver of a vehicle involved in an alleged petrol drive-off in Omarama on Monday attempted to ram another vehicle after speeding away from the scene, police say.

The drama unfolded about 9am, after police received a report a man filled his vehicle at Mobil Omarama and drove away without making any attempt to pay for it.

Senior Constable Peter Scott, of Kurow, said the man, a 24-year-old of no fixed abode, fled in the direction of Otematata, about 25km south of Omarama.

A member of the public, who advised police of the location of the offender's vehicle as they followed it south, was then caught up in the incident, he said.

``The driver has ... attempted to ram that vehicle, and the [driver of the] vehicle has taken action to avoid any kind of a crash.''

The alleged offender then headed back in the direction he had come from and continued over the Lindis Pass.

He was eventually arrested, without incident, about 1pm, after he was pulled over by police on State Highway 8, near Tarras.

Snr Const Scott said the man, who had a warrant out for his arrest on unrelated charges, was charged with theft of petrol and driving offences.

The man was scheduled to appear in the Queenstown District Court yesterday.

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