West Coast locals sit on fugitive until police arrive

State Highway 6 near Harihari. Photo: Getty Images
State Highway 6 near Harihari. Photo: Getty Images
Justice was served in Hari Hari on the South Island's West Coast on Friday night when farm workers captured a gang member who had been evading police since a Hokitika burglary the previous morning.

The wanted man allegedly stole a car in Nelson and with a female accomplice refused to stop for police in Reefton on Wednesday, continued to Hokitika where they broke into the Stafford Street Four Square on Thursday morning, before heading out on State Highway 6.

Police gave chase around Hari Hari and found the stolen car rolled on a forest road.

The woman was apprehended a short time later but the man escaped into the bush and evaded the armed offenders squad.

He emerged just before 7pm on Friday, when farm workers found him in a house just below Mt Hercules.

"The offender had found clothes, which he changed into, and then made one of the farm workers drive him to the main road, along the tanker track," a witness told the Greymouth Star.

The workers managed to phone their boss, who rounded up a couple of others and they headed straight for the farm.

"They managed to cut off the farm worker, who was driving the offender. Then they got the offender out of the car and someone sat on him until the police arrived," the witness said.

Police were in the area after a tip-off that the wanted man had been seen walking between Whataroa and Hari Hari, and were on the scene within 10 minutes.

"The bloke who was driving the offender out to the main road was pretty shaken up, but okay," the witness said.

A 25 year-old man appeared in the Greymouth District Court on Saturday and was remanded in custody on numerous charges including repeatedly failing to stop, burglary and unlawfully taking a motor vehicle.

- by Viv Logie

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