Quick thinking by Police’s Eagle crew this afternoon resulted in the arrest of seven youths who were attempting to steal vehicles from members of the public on State Highway 1 in Wellsford after fleeing from Police.
The incident unfolded after members of the public observed a suspicious vehicle in Kaiwaka township shortly before 1pm today.
The car didn’t have any registration plates and was being driven at speeds well in excess of the speed limit.
Eagle staff attended and located the vehicle in the Dome Forest, and monitored the car as it travelled south, providing vital updates to ground staff.
The car subsequently changed direction and headed northbound again, and road spikes were deployed near the northern end of Dome Forest.
The car continued on for a short distance, before not being able to travel any further and coming to a stop on State Highway 1 in Wellsford, near Wayby Valley Road.
Seven youths ran from the stolen car and approached a queue of stationary vehicles that had been blocked by the youths' car parked across the road.
The youths unsuccessfully attempted to gain access to some of these vehicles, in an attempt to make their escape in another vehicle.
With ground staff still some distance away, Eagle staff made a decision to land on farmland adjacent to the incident, just off State Highway 1.
Two officers from the helicopter ran to the scene and took the seven youths into custody before they could escape again.
“I have no doubt that the actions of our Eagle crew prevented further offending being committed by these seven youths, who were intent on securing a second stolen vehicle - and undoubtedly fleeing again," says Inspector Jason Homan.
"We are very proud to have such high performing staff, who are so committed to keeping our communities safe.
The team did a really great job today.”