A Whangarei man dubbed a career criminal by police orchestrated his own capture when he fled from police, despite the fact they weren't chasing him.

Proving experience can sometimes work against you, the 37-year-old driver saw police lights flashing behind him last Thursday night, and instead of pulling over to allow the officers to attend the domestic incident they were rushing to, took off, thinking they were after him, prompting police to give chase.

While another unit headed to the domestic callout, the man led officers about 4km along State Highway 1 and on to Kamo Rd before being cornered in a dead-end street in Kamo, about 10.45pm. When stopped he allegedly had methamphetamine and cannabis in his car.

The man was charged with dangerous driving, driving while unlicensed and possession of methamphetamine and cannabis.

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Whangarei/Kaipara area prevention manager Senior Sergeant John Fagan shared the incident on the Northland Police Facebook page, describing the man as a "career crim and frequent flyer".

"So he has lost his liberty, his vehicle and his drugs which were in the vehicle. I wonder how paranoid he must have been?" Mr Fagan wrote.