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A man has described the chaotic scenes as he thwarted a wanted man's desperate attempt to steal his car at a Queenstown petrol station on Saturday afternoon.
Garston man Jonathan Edmonds was in the Frankton Rd BP when his family ski trip took an unexpected twist, as a man sought by police for allegedly committing a burglary in Invercargill attempted to make a getaway in his vehicle.
"I seen him running across between the pumps and [he] jumped in the passenger's side of my car, in the front, I saw him climbing across, and at that point I went running out of the BP and ... tried to pull him out, but he had the car going.
After a tussle, Mr Edmonds was eventually able to haul the man out of his vehicle.
"So I turned the car off, got the keys out, managed to get the door open, pulled him out, and that's when he ... came out in front of the cops, then detoured into the BP, running in front of my kids.
"He yelled and threatened as he ran past my kids that he had a gun.''
Mr Edmonds said his only thought upon seeing the wanted man attempt to steal his car was "what the hell are you doing in my car?"
''So I just ran out there to drag him out of it. Didn't really think about it, just reacted.''
A reporter at the scene said six police cars arrived at the BP in Frankton Rd just before 4pm and armed officers swarmed the service station as staff lay low in a safe room.
The man is thought to have fled Invercargill this morning after being interrupted while commiting a burglary.
Police stated they didn't pursue the man the entire way to Queenstown, but instead officers kept tabs on him throughout his drive across the region.
Road spikes were seen on the Kawarau bridge and a Honda sedan was parked in the forecourt with blown-out tyres, the reporter said.
A large number of people milled nearby, having been evacuated from nearby shops, as a helicopter hovered overhead.
A BP staff member said four staff members took cover in a “safe room” inside the service station.
A bystander said he saw the car go “flying” along the bridge before doing a “big swerve” once it was spiked.
Another bystander said he saw a man jump out of the car and run into the petrol station.
“It was pretty intense”
A police spokeswoman said the 40-year-old arrested man was wanted for a burglary in Southland this morning, together with several car thefts.