A 17-year-old was in police custody last night after a car sought since a mid-afternoon chase stretching more than 15km crashed in a narrow suburban Napier street as it was again being pursued by police.
The silver-coloured Nissan, believed stolen, was first involved in a chase pursued by five police vehicles from Bay View to Napier at about 4.20pm before police lost sight of the vehicle in the streets of Pirimai and Onekawa.
Another chase started about 6.20pm but was over within minutes as the car turned from Nuffield Ave into the eastern end of Kettle Cres, Marewa, became out of control on a right-hand bend, and demolished a couple's letterbox and about three metres of a low concrete-block fence.
With five police vehicles quickly on the scene, the driver was arrested immediately, apparently suffering no more than a bloodied nose, and taken away by police. Residents were annoyed by the incident but thankful no children had been in the path of the car as they would have been when playing a short time earlier.
One child, the six-year-old son of resident Josh Porter, saw the crash from about 60 metres away, and rushed inside to tell his dad, who later watched police, firefighters and a vehicle salvage crew prepare to remove the crashed car.
"All the kids play up the street all the time," Mr Porter said.
John Kent, across the road from where the car came to a stop, was in his kitchen with the door open when he heard the high revving of the car and the howl of its tyres as the driver tried to outrun the law.
"It was screaming and I thought: He's coming through the door," he said. "In the end I was quite pleased he crashed."
Earlier, in the afternoon, police rushed to Bay View and were almost at the township when they turned to pursue the Nissan heading south on State Highway 2.
The driver apparently refused to stop, and police were faced with a pursuit through traffic becoming heavier as holiday-makers headed home on the last day of the Christmas-New Year holiday break.
The density of the traffic also made it difficult for police to use road spikes to stop the fleeing vehicle.