A man is alleged to have assaulted a taxi driver and stolen his vehicle before crashing it in east Auckland early this morning.

Police said the taxi driver was assaulted and his vehicle stolen in Auckland city about 2.10am.

The police helicopter later spotted the vehicle driving at high speed down Pakuranga Rd.

While officers on the ground were heading to the area to set up road spikes they saw the taxi collide with another vehicle at the intersection of Ti Rakau Drive.

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The other driver was not injured.

The alleged offender was caught as he ran from the taxi and hid in a property. He had a cut to his arm from the crash.

Police were this morning examining the scene and Pakuranga Rd was closed between Latham Ave and Ti Rakau Drive. A diversion was in place.