Police chase bottle-throwing liquor store thieves around South Auckland

Police caught up with the fleeing car at Te Irirangi Drive and arrested the teens. Photo / File
Police caught up with the fleeing car at Te Irirangi Drive and arrested the teens. Photo / File

A group of teenage car thieves threw bottles at police as they led them on a 64km-long wild chase around South Auckland early this morning.

The teenagers, who were aged 15 to 17, drove into oncoming traffic three times during the pursuit - twice on a motorway.

Police were called to a burglary at the Greenhithe Liquor Centre, in Greenhithe Rd, just after midnight.

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Not long after, police spotted a stolen car and gave chase along the motorways around the southern suburbs as the group of five teens threw liquor bottles at them.

After being chased for 64.3km, the Otara teens were arrested and property was found in the car linking them to the liquor store burglary.

When police first spotted the car they followed it, as it drove towards the city on the Western Motorway, to the New Windsor area, where it was spiked.

However, the car managed to drive on to the motorway on-ramp at Maioro Rd where it entered the northbound lane, but drove south.

Police followed the car, in the correct lane, through to Neilson St where the car got off the motorway and continued into Onehunga.

It then got back on the motorway, heading north in the southbound lane until it U-turned and headed back south over Mangere Bridge at relatively low speeds until it exited at Puhinui Rd with police on its tail.

Police continued the pursuit into Otara where the car drove around Clover Park before entering the motorway for the third time - at Te Irirangi Drive, driving north in the southbound lane at low speeds of 40km/h.

The car once again made a U-turn towards Te Irirangi Drive where police blocked it in and arrested the teens - believed to all be from Otara.

It is the second liquor store burglary and police chase in as many days.

On Wednesday morning police failed to catch another group of burglars who had robbed the Oteha Valley Liquor Centre.

Two cars were spotted shortly after the burglary, police managed to chase one but gave up chase after it entered the Southwestern Motorway the wrong way at the Cavendish Rd on-ramp.

The car crashed into a median barrier not long after but both occupants managed to evade capture as they ran from the scene.

Items from the liquor store were found in the car.

Chris Utting, the manager of the liquor store, that got robbed said the burglary was an annoying inconvenience on a typically busy Friday morning.

"Can't sell customers anything, don't even have a till, not even a cash drawer."

The first he knew of the burglary was when he turned up to work this morning and saw the damage.

Mr Utting said the window was shattered, a metal cage has been smashed, the computer on the ground, the till has been ripped out, there were racks of chips and cigarettes and bags of money scattered on the ground.

He said the teens didn't look like they'd made off with much.

"Might have been some cigarettes and a few bottles of vodka, it looks like what they took wasn't much in terms of dollars, but it's more the inconvenience of the mess and clean up."

Mr Utting said this was the first time the store had been the target of a burglary.

The route they took

• Greenhithe Road to the suburb of New Windsor - 27 kilometres
• To Maioro Street -1.5 kilometres
• To Neilson Street Exit - 5.8 kilometres
• To Mangere Bridge - 3.3 kilometres
• To Puhinui road - 9.6 kilometres
• To Clover Park - 9.7 kilometres
• To Te Irirangi Drive - 7.4 kilometres

Total = 64.3 kilometres

- NZ Herald

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