Three cows have been put down after they were hit by a group of teens fleeing from police near Kaikohe this morning.
Inspector Al Symonds, acting area commander for Far North police, said just before 8am this morning police received a driving complaint about a Toyota Starlet seen driving dangerously on State Highway One, Kauri, and was heading north.
The vehicle had been stolen from an Okaihau address overnight.
About 8.30am, just south of Ohaeawai township, police saw the car and indicated for the vehicle to stop. The driver failed to do so and a pursuit was initiated.
The fleeing driver turned onto Hariru Rd, where he drove into three cows being moved by a farmer across the road.
The police car and officers immediately abandoned the pursuit to tend to the injured animals and to help the farmer.
The driver continued to flee but crashed a short distance down the road. The occupants fled and another police unit managed to apprehend three of five young men.
A short time later a car seen leaving the area was stopped by another police unit and officers found a young man hiding in the boot.
A police dog handler and his dog tracked the last offender and located a young man soon after.
Back at the scene where the cows were injured, police called for the assistance of a vet to come to the scene, however the farmer was able to euthanize them quickly and humanely.
Five young men, three aged 15 and two aged 14, have been detained and are now speaking with police. They are likely to be held in custody to appear in the Kaikohe Youth Court tomorrow.
Police are providing support to the farmer and will seek reparation on his behalf for the loss of his stock.
Enquiries are ongoing as to whether this incident is linked to the disorder last Friday night in Kaikohe.