Two men arrested following Southland chases

Two Canterbury men have been arrested in Riverton this afternoon following a series of car thefts and petrol drive-offs between Christchurch and Invercargill.

The two offenders are alleged to have stolen a vehicle in Wigram on 14 February.

They were then involved in a number of petrol drive offs on their travels to Invercargill, Constable Wayne McClelland told the Otago Daily Times.

Police attempted to stop the vehicle in Invercargill shortly after 8pm last night. The driver failed to stop, Constable McClelland said, and while police followed for a short time the pursuit was quickly abandoned due to the erratic driving of the fleeing driver, he said.

The vehicle was recovered a short time later. However, the offenders had fled on foot.

At around 1.30pm this afternoon a stolen vehicle was spotted by police travelling north near Mataura, Constable McClelland said.

Police believed the two people in the vehicle were the same men that had fled the previous night.

Police again followed the vehicle for a time before abandoning due to their concern at the driving.

An off-duty fire officer noticed the vehicle and shared the location allowing police to find the vehicle again south of Winton.

After being located by Police the driver allegedly fled once again.

The fleeing vehicle was seen in the Wallacetown area. Police followed the vehicle at a safe distance and despite trying to get away the vehicle was stopped trying to leave Riverton, Constable McClelland said.

The two men, one aged 17 and the other 18, have been arrested and will be appearing in Invercargill District Court on Monday facing a number of theft and driving charges.


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