A Police car was rammed and a number of Hamilton car dealers broken into when a sophisticated car theft ring was disturbed in the city overnight.
Senior Sergeant Eddie Carr of Hamilton Police said events began when an alarm was activated at car dealers on Te Rapa Rd shortly before midnight.
"A guard from Waikato Security has disturbed three men who activated an alarm at Fairview Motors and a high performance Ford Falcon was found with its engine running.
"The three offenders fled on foot and a Police dog tracked them a short distance to Sir Tristram Pl where the track ended, we believe they had a car waiting there," said Mr Carr.
The three men were all described by the guard as being of large build, wearing balaclavas and armed with telescopic batons.
A short time later another alarm has been activated, this time at Admiral Cars on the corner of Hall and Lake Roads in Frankton where offenders were reported breaking into a number of cars.
The offenders have fled in a black ute with orange striping and a silver sedan as Police were responding.
Minutes later security guards and Police were speeding to Ebbetts Holden on Anglesea St after multiple alarms were activated.
Knowing what they wanted the thieves broke into one car to move it, taking a V8 Commodore from the showroom.
"As we were responding a black ute similar to the one described earlier was spotted on Victoria St but failed to stop and turned on to Bryce St," said Mr Carr.
The following patrol car was then rammed by a silver sedan before all three vehicles turned on to Barton St.
"Once on Barton St the silver car has reversed at speed into the patrol car, disabling it," said Mr Carr.
Other patrol cars then picked up the trail of the black utility which had married up with the stolen Commodore and were pursuing them up Boundary Rd across the Waikato River.
Officers were able to box in the Commodore bringing it to a stop but the driver managed to escape in the fleeing utility.
The pursuit continued on to SH1 towards Cambridge but had to be abandoned because the offender's vehicle was being driven at too high a speed to ensure public safety.
Follow up units later found the silver sedan, a Toyota Camry, used to ram the patrol car in Hamilton further up Barton St.
It had been stolen from a Manukau car painter's last month.
Tracing the registration number of the black utility to a Hamilton address Police were told by the owner the vehicle should have been secured at a Kahikatea Dr panel beaters workshop.
That workshop had also fallen victim to the thieves with a roller door rammed by a vehicle to gain entry and the FPV high performance V8 utility driven off and used in the other break-ins.
Mr Carr said last night's break-ins were very similar to a burglary at Fairview Motors 1-2 years ago when two high performance cars were stolen.
One of those cars was recovered a short time later but the second was used in a number of burglaries around South Auckland and discovered burnt out two weeks later.