A 52-year-old man has been arrested after stealing a car with a five- week-old baby girl on the back seat from a Whangārei Service Station.

The Whangārei man was spotted in Auckland on Saturday by an off duty officer and was arrested by police.

He has been charged with failing to stop, unlawfully taking a motorvehicle, dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

He was to appear in Auckland District Court today .

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The arrest comes 17 days after the incident at BP Wylies on Maunu Rd, Whangārei, about 11.36am on May 6.

It is alleged the car was stolen while the mother was inside paying for petrol. The vehicle was driven towards the ASB Stadium and dumped in a nearby street.

A two and a half hour search by police, a police dog and a drone failed to find the driver.

Police found the baby on the backseat of the car uninjured.

Police said they were unable to comment further as the matter was now before the courts.