Ram-raid, police car crash in Dargaville chase


A 26-year-old man's been arrested following a string of ram-raid burglaries in the Northland town of Dargaville early on Thursday morning.

A motorcycle business was ram-raided and a police car rammed during the crime spree. 

Police say at about 4:15am they responded to reports of five burglaries of shops in Dargaville.

A man broke into three stores, stole a ute from one, and used it to ram-raid the other two stores, police say.

One business, Dargaville Honda, was hit. Witnesses say it destroyed half the building.

The man then took off in the stolen vehicle, and police took pursuit. 

A police car was significantly damaged when the fleeing man rammed it with the ute, witnesses say.

"One log truck was narrowly avoided in a collision going past the... and he radioed up to another log truck just in front of me, and he blocked off a one-lane bridge," truck driver John Ekdahl told Newshub.

"The ute entered the bridge, saw he couldn't get through, and then reversed back up, pretty much driving up over the top of the cop car to push him off the bridge, and did a U-turn and took off back towards Dargaville."

Police say it's lucky no officers were injured.

Soon after, the offender dumped the ute near Waimata Rd and fled on foot, before stealing another vehicle at around 6am.

The second vehicle was found abandoned, and police caught the man as he tried to escape by running over farmland.

He was arrested and police are investigating the scenes of all the burglaries.

He will now face multiple burglary and traffic charges, as well as the scorn of the townspeople he targeted.

NZN / Newshub.