School quarantines lifted as police arrest man who stole a car and fled after crash

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Police speak to residents of Weedons Ross Rd near Rolleston as they search for a wanted man.

CHRIS SKELTON/Things

Police speak to residents of Weedons Ross Rd near Rolleston as they search for a wanted man.

Police have launched a manhunt in Rolleston, southwest of Christchurch, and arrested a man who escaped police after crashing into a stolen car.

A police spokesman said the incident flared up in Washdyke, just north of Timaru, when a man was reported to have been seen driving a stolen car before 7am on Friday.

“After receiving a stop signal, the man fled from the police and drove north towards Rakaia, where he stole another car and continued north to Rolleston,” he said.

The man is believed to have later rammed into Weedons Ross Road in Rolleston, about 139 kilometers northeast of Washdyke, and fled the scene on foot.

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A man crashed into a stolen car and evaded police and started a manhunt southwest of Christchurch.

CHRIS SKELTON/Things

A man crashed into a stolen car and evaded police and started a manhunt southwest of Christchurch.

The spokesperson said the man was not armed with a firearm and that police arrested him “without incident” on Weedons Ross Rd shortly before noon.

He said all personnel searching the area left the scene shortly before 12:30.

“The police want to thank the public for their help and patience in trying to find him.

“We understand this was a sad situation at the time it came out, but we want to [to] “Assure members of the public that there is no imminent threat to their safety,” he said.

Armed police searched Rolleston Friday for a wanted man.

CHRIS SKELTON/Things

Armed police searched Rolleston Friday for a wanted man.

Police countryside commander Inspector Peter Cooper said it was understood that a 30-year-old Pākehā man had stolen the car.

Some schools and kindergartens in the area were initially locked as a precaution.

Rolleston College said in a Facebook post that it initially kept students inside until it received more information from the police. Shortly after, it was said that the police had assured him that there was no danger, so the students would resume their school day.

Police later said a man had been arrested without incident until noon.

CHRIS SKELTON/Things

Police later said a man had been arrested without incident until noon.

West Rolleston Elementary School was also quarantined, but that had been removed before noon.

“Our recommendation [Ministry of Education] to lift the isolation, according to the police,” the school said on social media.

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