A teenager who evaded police for three weeks after allegedly taking a police car has appeared in court.

Maaki Te Huirau Emery, 18, appeared in Rotorua District Court this morning, facing five charges, three in relation to events on October 17 in Murupara.

He is charged with dishonestly and without claim or right, but not so as to be guilty of theft, attempting to take a car, one valued at $3000 on October 8 and one valued at $25,000 and the property of the New Zealand Police on October 17.

The other charges were dangerous driving, escaping custody of police and robbing an individual of cigarettes and $300.

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Emery was alleged to have taken the police car - with a police-issue firearm inside - from Murupara.

The car was found on Gibbs Rd - about 15km away - about four hours later.

Emery was reportedly handcuffed when the car was taken.

He was remanded in custody without plea to reappear on November 21.