The suspect in a series of burglaries at rural properties has been nabbed after a dramatic incident in which he twice rammed a police car then jumped out of a moving vehicle before he was finally brought to the ground by a police dog.
Mid North residents have been plagued in recent weeks by a spate of burglaries targeting high-value property such as farm equipment, vehicles and electronics.
In one high-profile case a Taheke property, west of Kaikohe, was cleaned out on Boxing Day while the owners were enjoying a family holiday.
Children's dirt bikes, a racing quad, guns from a smashed-open safe, a large TV, laptop, tools and a debit card were among the items stolen. Daughter Lauren Cole described the raid as "heart-wrenching".
Police had been hopeful of catching the offender because he had been captured on CCTV using the stolen card.
However, they got their man by other means early last Saturday morning.
Acting Senior Sergeant Dan Williams, of Mid North police, said an officer driving a marked patrol car pulled over a vehicle on Te Pua Rd, Kaikohe, after recognising it as stolen.
Moments later, however, the stolen vehicle reversed at speed. The officer attempted evasive action but could not avoid the car as it slammed into the left-hand side of the police car.
The driver of the stolen vehicle then reversed further and stopped briefly behind the patrol vehicle, Williams said.
To avoid being hit again the police officer tried to create distance but the offending vehicle followed and drove at speed into the rear of the patrol car.
At that point the police car could not be driven and the offending driver took off in the stolen vehicle.
A short time later another police unit come across the stolen vehicle and watched as the offender drove a short distance further then jumped from the moving vehicle. He was apprehended soon afterwards with the help of a police dog.
The offender, who was known to police and from the wider Kaikohe area, appeared in the Kaikohe District Court on Monday when he was charged with a "significant number" of offences relating to a series of crimes around the Mid North.
The 21-year-old was remanded in custody and is next due in court on January 14.
His charges include assault with intent to injure, resisting police, reckless driving and numerous dishonesty offences.
Williams said fortunately neither police officer involved in the ramming incident was injured, but their patrol car was extensively damaged and was likely to be written off.
Police also executed a search warrant at an address in Kaikohe in relation to other offences the man is alleged to have committed.
A firearm and illicit drugs were located. Two more people, a man and a woman, were assisting police with those enquiries. They appeared in the Kaikohe District Court on Tuesday on firearms and drug charges.
Victims of the crimes were thankful for the police response and the updates they had received, William said.
He urged Northlanders to report any suspicious vehicles or behaviour as soon as possible, either through the 105 non-emergency police number or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.