They were on the lamb, and it took a flock of sheep to stop them.

Four fugitives who led police on a high-speed chase through Central Otago and Queenstown were arrested after they were brought to a halt by a flock of sheep on the road.

Senior Sergeant James Ure, of Dunedin, said police had pursued the car after spotting it driving at speed and without licence plates east of Alexandra just before 8am.

The vehicle sped through Cromwell and the Kawarau Gorge into the Arrowtown area, and kept ahead of police despite road spikes deflating one of the wheels.


Police only managed to make an arrest after the four fugitives - three men and a woman - found their way blocked by sheep crossing a road outside Queenstown.

Ironically, the sheep belonged to a police officer. None were harmed in the line of duty.

Two males, aged 19 and 23, have been charged with reckless driving, failing to stop for flashing lights, three thefts in relation to petrol drive-offs, and unlawfully taking a motor vehicle.

A male and a female, both aged 14, have been charged with three thefts in relation to petrol drive-offs and unlawfully taking a motor vehicle.

Senior Sergeant Paula Enoka, of Queenstown Police, is pleased no further incident occurred as a result of the driving.

"The driving behaviour of those involved was reckless and considerably dangerous providing there were four people in the vehicle.

"Not only did they place themselves in danger by continuing to flee police, but they put a large number of other motorists in danger on the roads due to the distance that they travelled."