A car has crashed outside the Ford Rd Four Square and its occupants have fled following a "brief" police chase.

A Rotorua Daily Post reporter at the scene said police and fire were there.

She said the car had crashed through metal barriers outside the shop.

Senior constable Pete Jones said the crash happened after a "brief pursuit".

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He said after the crash the vehicle's three occupants fled the scene. They have not yet been found.

Witness Phillip Sullivan said he had heard sirens in the area for about 10 minutes before the crash.

He was in the front yard at the time.

"I heard him come roaring past. They were getting closer I heard the car revving.

"He came around the corner and hit the bollards and came to a stop and took off on foot down Malfroy Rd.

"It was loud. When he hit the bollards it went boom."

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Sullivan said he couldn't believe what he was seeing.

Police had still not found the occupants of the vehicle several hours later and said inquiries were ongoing.