Police charge man over 200km pursuit after attempts to cross border without permit

A Victorian man has been charged after he allegedly unlawfully crossed the NSW/Victoria border and led police on a 200km pursuit in an attempt to drive to the Australian Capital Territory.

Officers from Operation Border Closure were conducting permit checks at a checkpoint on the Hume Highway, South Albury, when they stopped a Mazda MX5 about 11.40am yesterday (Monday 24 August 2020), and spoke with the 51-year-old male driver.

The Warrnambool man said he did not have a permit but wanted to drive to Canberra.

After checks revealed he had previously made unsuccessful attempts to cross the border without a permit, police refused his entry and he was directed to return to Victoria with a police escort.

While officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command were escorting the vehicle to the East Street off-ramp, it’s alleged the vehicle took off from police at speed onto the Hume Highway on-ramp.

Another police officer was conducting speed enforcement duties on the Borella Road on ramp and detected the vehicle’s speed at 172km/h in the 110km/h zone.

A police pursuit was initiated, and road spikes were deployed a short time later, which successfully deflated one tyre, however, the man continued to drive at speed with one wheel on its rims.

Police pursued the vehicle for about 200km until the vehicle ran out of fuel and stopped near Jugiong.

The man was subsequently arrested and taken to Gundagai Police Station, where he was charged with drive recklessly/furiously or speed/manner dangerous, police pursuit-not stop-drive at speed, exceed speed more than 45km/h, and not comply with noticed direction re s 7/8/9 – COVID-19.

He has been refused bail to appear at Gundagai Local Court today (Tuesday 25 August 2020).

Police continue to appeal to the community to report suspected breaches of any ministerial direction or behaviour which may impact on the health and safety of the community.

Anyone who has information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of a COVID-19-related ministerial direction is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.

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