Man arrested thanks to vigilant locals and an off-duty police officer

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By Robyn Bristow

An off-duty officer in Cheviot has taken a wanted offender off the streets, thanks to tips from vigilant locals.

The officer, who was on his day off yesterday, started receiving calls from locals who had noticed a black ute acting suspiciously in the township.

They also had information that suggested the ute might have been involved in recent burglaries in the area.

The officer located the vehicle, which had been reported stolen, about 9.35pm near the intersection of Nonoti and Domett Roads, Cheviot.

The driver failed to stop for the officer.

A pursuit was initiated, and the vehicle was tracked out towards Gore Bay, where it was briefly lost sight of.

The vehicle was then found about 10 minutes later abandoned on Gore Bay Road.

A dog unit tracked the offender, who was arrested.

The 28-year-old man has appeared in Christchurch District Court on a number of charges including failing to stop, driving while disqualified and dangerous driving, as well as dishonesty offences including burglary.

He is due to appear again on April 20.

Canterbury Rural Area Commander Inspector Peter Cooper says he commends the local officer for taking action when he heard he was needed.

“Our rural officers have a special relationship with their communities.

“‘They’re usually well-known and relied on, and we know they often go above and beyond even on days off to make sure their community is safe and feels safe.

“But that relationship goes two ways, and we are truly appreciative of the local people who saw something they knew wasn’t right, and made sure they let us know,’’ says Inspector Cooper.

“‘Stories like this demonstrate the power of us all working together to hold offenders to account.’’