Four children aged between 12 and 14 are in custody after a lengthy police chase across west Auckland overnight.
A motorist travelling on the same stretch of the highway moments before the chase came to a dramatic end described seeing sparks flying from rims as the wanted vehicle continued driving on shredded tyres.
A police spokesperson said that at 3.50am police spotted a stolen vehicle on Te Atatu Rd which had been involved in at least three reported burglaries earlier in the evening.
Police followed the vehicle at a distance through the Waitakere area, out to Kumeu and then back into Waitakere.
The unit signalled for the vehicle to stop but backed off once the Eagle helicopter took over tracking the wanted vehicle from the air.
The vehicle was spiked but continued driving, pursued by police before it was forced to stop on the Northwestern Motorway at Waterview where a number of police cars had blocked the road.
A spokesperson said four youths, aged 12, 13 and 14 were now in custody and charges would follow. They would include burglary and aggravated burglary. The four were due to appear in the Waitakere Youth Court.
Police were making inquiries into other possible offending, said the spokesperson.
A witness driving on the motorway at the same time said the vehicle kept driving even though the tyres had been destroyed.
"Sparks were flying from the rims."
The motorist saw up to 15 police cars parked on the west-bound stretch of the motorway.
No one was injured in the chase which is understood to have lasted nearly an hour.