A fairly innocuous traffic safety issue turned into a dramatic short chase through Hamilton streets this morning.
Waikato police Senior Sergeant Robbie Hermann says officers noticed an occupant of the Nissan vehicle wasn't wearing a seatbelt as it travelled on Boundary Rd about 7.30am.
Police tried to pull the car over but it sped off across the Boundary Rd bridge but then failed to negotiate a tight bend at the corner of Richmond and Willoughby Sts before crashing into the Waikato Indian Community Centre building.
Officers then discovered the vehicle had been stolen from a Hamilton address.
"We didn't know it was stolen until it was stopped, but it was just a couple of people in a car and one of them wasn't wearing a seatbelt and that's where it all started. [Police] tried to stop them, the driver failed to stop and there was a short pursuit and the car crashed," Mr Hermann said.
The 22-year-old driver was arrested at the scene while his passenger took off on foot. However, he was found about 15 minutes later.
They will both appear in the Hamilton District Court tomorrow -- the driver facing charges of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, failing to stop and dangerous driving. The 21-year-old passenger faces a charge of unlawfully getting into a motor vehicle.
Neither of the men were injured.
Mr Hermann praised the officers' efforts.
"It was just good work following up basic traffic safety measures and it's turned into that."