Waimate man in court following crime spree

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A 20-year-old Waimate man has been remanded in custody after appearing in the Timaru District Court on Thursday in relation to a crime spree earlier that morning.

The man, who appeared on a number of charges following a trail of destruction that started in Waimate and ended with his arrest in Temuka, is due to reappear in court on August 28.

Waimate police Constable Paul Alden said the incident started with the man breaking into a vehicle at the Waimate District Council car park at about midnight on Thursday.

The man tried unsuccessfully to jimmy the driver door open before smashing a window on the passenger side and damaging the steering column and ignition, Constable Alden said.

He then stole an unlocked vehicle, which was parked on Glasglow St with the keys in the ignition, and drove it to Makikihi.

With an axe and jimmy bar, he tried to break into Makikihi Motors, however the alarm was activated, after which he drove to Timaru.

Constable Alden said the man was located in Temuka after he took petrol from the Z Service Station in Timaru without paying.

A police pursuit, which lasted about three minutes, ensued in Temuka before the man abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot, Constable Alden said.

He was caught by a dog handler at about 2.30am after being tracked for 20 minutes.

The constable said the dog handler’s “excellent work” in catching the man needed to be praised.

He also wanted to remind people that there were dangerous people out there.

The man appeared in court on a number of charges – unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, unlawfully interfering with a motor vehicle, theft, burglary, failing to stop and dangerous driving.