Man arrested after allegedly driving wrong side of Auckland motorway, stealing clothes to try fool police

A man's best efforts to avoid police detection by changing into stolen clothes has come to no avail when he was arrested at a major Auckland shopping mall on Wednesday.  

It came after the man fled from police and drove on the wrong side of a busy Auckland motorway.  

The ordeal started at around 4:40pm when police were told about a vehicle linked to a person of interest on Auckland's Mount Wellington Highway. 

Auckland City East Area Commander Inspector Jim Wilson said after further enquiries it was found the person had multiple warrants to arrest for burglaries in recent months. 

"Police attempted to stop the vehicle however it failed to do so and a pursuit was not initiated," Insp Wilson said.  

"At this stage, the Police Eagle helicopter was overhead and has maintained observations of the vehicle as it travelled south." 

Insp Wilson said officers watched the vehicle drive in a "concerning manner" as it crossed onto the wrong side of the road and overtook several cars "dangerously".  

"It is incredibly lucky no one was seriously injured during this incident," Insp Wilson said.  

The vehicle then entered the Sylvia Park Mall carpark and mall security monitored as the man entered a retail store. 

Police allege the man has then stolen "a number of clothing items" to try to change his appearance. 

"Unfortunately for him, police were waiting outside where he was taken into custody without further incident," Insp Wilson said.  

"This is another example of great work by police staff from across different workgroups, all working together to hold offenders to account." 

Insp Wilson thanked mall security who helped police find the man.  

A 41-year-old man will appear in the Auckland District Court on Thursday on multiple charges relating to shoplifting, failing to stop, and traffic offending.