A 39 year-old Warrnambool man was remanded in custody after leading police on an hour-long vehicle pursuit which came to an abrupt end in Camperdown on Sunday.
His accomplice, a 30 year-old woman from Panmure, was handcuffed at the scene but was released later pending further inquiries.
The pair was first noticed in a stolen green Holden SS ute with false plates driving at high speeds at Mailors Flat at about 11am.
Detective Senior Constable Rachael McMahon of the Warrnambool Crime Investigation Unit said the vehicle was later seen on Wangoom Road at Warrnambool where it reached speeds of up to 200 kilometres per hour.
“State Highway Patrol, Warrnambool Highway Patrol, Mortlake Police and Warrnambool Crime Scene officers pursued the vehicle for approximately 57 minutes,” she said.
“The pursuit passed through Framlingham and Noorat from which point they headed back to the Princes Highway and then sped into Camperdown.
“Varying speeds were recorded.
“Once in Camperdown the offenders then took evasive action and tried to lose police by ducking up a number of residential streets.”
Det Snr Const McMahon said the vehicle hit a kerb on one of the side streets (believed to be Daskein Street), which buckled the vehicle’s front left wheel.
The vehicle travelled for about another kilometre before it came to a stop on Scott Street, near the intersection with Leura Street.
“The male resisted police and a firearm was located in the vehicle,” Det Snr Const McMahon said.
“The offender was subsequently sprayed with OC (a form of capsicum spray), arrested and cuffed.
“The woman was also cuffed – as is procedure for anyone who is arrested – and the male was hosed down with water, which is also procedure for anyone who has been sprayed with OC.”
The scene was highly visible to the general public, with about 20 uniformed police officers, numerous marked and unmarked police vehicles and an ambulance in attendance.
Det Snr Const McMahon said the two offenders were transported to the Warrnambool Police Station where they were interviewed.
“The male offender is currently facing a list of 25 charges, including unlawful possession of a firearm, conduct endangering life and multiple theft of vehicles,” she said.
“The male is known to police.”
The motor vehicle thefts had occurred across the Warrnambool area over the previous 10 days.