1 July 2024

Learner driver accused of stealing police ute allegedly fails breath test

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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NSW Police Highway Patrol car

A learner driver was allegedly seen driving a fully marked police caged utility. Photo: Claire Fenwicke.

A 17-year-old boy has been charged after a fully marked police vehicle was allegedly stolen from Gundagai over the weekend.

Police said Riverina district officers were alerted when a NSW Police caged ute was seen being driven along Muttama Road at Coolac, allegedly by a teenage boy at 9:10 am on Saturday (29 June).

A police pursuit began, but was stopped due to safety concerns. A Highway Patrol sedan and two Riverina police vehicles were damaged when allegedly rammed by the stolen ute.

The vehicle was followed through several rural and main roads surrounding Gundagai and within Gundagai township before it stopped in a park, and the youth was arrested in the ute at 10:55 am.

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The boy was subjected to a roadside breath test, which allegedly returned a positive result. He was then taken to Wagga Wagga Police Station where he returned an alleged BAS reading of 0.09.

The teen has been charged with nine offences, including breaking and entering, stealing a motor vehicle, driving without an owner’s consent, police pursuit – driving dangerously, three counts of using an offensive weapon to prevent lawful detention, driving middle-range PCA, and learner not accompanied by driver/police officer/tester.

He was refused bail and appeared via audiovisual link in a children’s court yesterday.

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