Police pursue armed driver across central North Island


A helicopter was seen overhead in Shannon, witnesses said during the chase in the central North Island (File photo).

Christel Yardley/Stuff

A helicopter was seen overhead in Shannon, witnesses said during the chase in the central North Island (File photo).

Two people are facing a raft of charges after a pursuit of a stolen car on Sunday turned into a chase involving the armed offenders squad, several police cars and helicopters across the central North Island.

In a statement, Inspector Brett Calkin, Central District Police Prevention Manager, said two people were arrested late Sunday afternoon, Stuff understands around 5pm.

A 34-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman have been jointly charged with two counts of aggravated robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.

The incident began unfolding in Tangimoana at 3.15pm, and later escalated when a second car was taken at gunpoint in the Manawatū township.

After 4pm, people had complained on social media about a car travelling through Foxton and Horowhenua, at speed. One commentator believed they were travelling at more than 140kmh.

At 4.37pm, a helicopter was seen overhead in Shannon, Horowhenua.

Witnesses reported seeing at least 10 patrol cars with sirens on speeding towards Shannon just after 4.30pm.

Police have confirmed a serious incident is unfolding in Manawatū this afternoon. (File photo)

Hamish McNeilly/Stuff

Police have confirmed a serious incident is unfolding in Manawatū this afternoon. (File photo)

It is unclear if the second offender was with them the whole time or joined part way into the chase. Both offenders were caught when the car was spiked at Longburn, south of Palmerston North.

The arrested pair were due to appear in Palmerston North District Court on Monday, and police have not ruled out laying more charges.

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