A man has been arrested after allegedly stealing three cars, one towing a caravan with a woman still inside – over a 150km stretch of a NSW Highway yesterday.
Police will allege at around 5.15pm on Tuesday, a 28-year-old man stole a Nissan Navara utility from outside a hotel in Barringun and then travelled south along the Mitchell Highway towards Enngonia.
On entering Enngonia, police stopped the vehicle and arrested the driver. A scuffle ensued and the driver allegedly punched a male officer and ran into a nearby street where he allegedly stole a white Toyota Avalon sedan.
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The officer attempted to follow the Toyota but lost sight of it as it drove south along the Mitchell Highway towards Bourke.
About 40km south of Enngonia, the driver stopped at a rest stop after the Toyota had a flat tyre. The man allegedly parked next to a blue Mazda BT-50 utility which had a caravan attached.
The man allegedly entered the Mazda and started to drive it away. The owner of the Mazda – a 68-year-old Victorian man ran over to his vehicle and scuffled with the man through the driver’s door in an attempt to stop him.
The Mazda owner was allegedly pushed from his vehicle; fell heavily onto the road and lost consciousness, suffering significant head, wrist and leg injuries. The man was assisted by witnesses at the rest stop and later flown to Dubbo Base Hospital by helicopter where he remains in a stable condition.
A 66-year-old woman, the Mazda owner’s partner – was still inside the attached caravan along with several of their Whippet show dogs during the incident.
The officer from Enngonia arrived at the rest stop shortly afterwards and continued to follow the Mazda utility and caravan as it drove towards Bourke.
About 10km south of the rest stop, the officer from Enngonia found the Mazda utility and caravan stopped by the side of the road with flat tyres.
The officer sighted the man in the driver’s seat and attempted to re-arrest him, who again allegedly resisted arrest. Officers from Bourke arrived at the scene shortly afterwards and assisted the officer in re-arresting the man.
The 66-year-old woman and her dogs were released from the caravan. The woman was treated for a chipped front tooth.
The male officer from Enngonia was treated for minor injuries and remained on duty.
The 28-year-old man was conveyed to Bourke Police Station where he also allegedly damaged a police vehicle.
The man is currently assisting police with their inquiries and several charges are expected.