A lightning-fast response by police caught a driver who is alleged to have been both drunk and disqualified when he stole a car in Jonson Street on Friday night, before leading police on a high-speed chase and writing the vehicle off near Tintenbar.
Police were patrolling Jonson Street about 10.50pm on Friday when they observed a man acting suspiciously in carpark before driving off in a stolen Toyota Corolla.
The shocked owner had just returned from buying a pizza only to see her car drive off with police in hot pursuit.
Police abandoned the pursuit after the offender took out a road sign following a series of collisions.
‘Police commenced a pursuit, however the vehicle refused to stop and was colliding with a number of objects on the road, so the pursuit was terminated to protect life and property,’ a police spokesperson said.
Officers from the Richmond Target Action Group (TAG) sighted the car again travelling at high-speed in a southerly direction along the Coast Road near Lennox Head before turning right into Ross Lane.
The TAG team were close enough to apprehend the 39-year-old Coraki man in bushland shortly after he fled the scene when he failed to negotiate a bend at the top of the hill and crashed.
‘The driver ran from the vehicle and into bushland,’ a spokesperson said.
‘Police ran after him, immediately locating him and placed him under arrest.’
As police handcuffed the accused, a set of keys were observed to be attached to a finger on his right hand. When questioned about the keys, he said “I can’t believe she left the keys in it.”
The accused man was taken to Ballina police station where he failed a breath alcohol analysis. He was charged with a middle range PCA while driving; vehicle theft, driving while disqualified and reckless/dangerous driving and is expected to face court today.