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Bizarre theft and pursuit in Nuriootpa

Bizarre theft and pursuit in Nuriootpa

A 35 year old Nuriootpa man has been arrested following a pursuit with a stolen front end loader at Nuriootpa early on December 4, making headlines across the country.

Just after 1 a.m. last Sunday the man stole an articulated front end loader from KSI Sawmills in Nuriootpa, worth $300,000.

Nuriootpa resident, Mr Travis Bishop spotted the stolen loader and called triple zero, before following the offender down the road until patrols arrived.

Mr Trent McPherson, manager at KSI Sawmills received a phone call from the owner of the saw mill, Mr Vic Kyriakou at 1.30 a.m.

“He literally just told me someone was driving around the Barossa in a stolen loader – I couldn’t believe it,” said Trent.

The offender had jumped the fence to the business, stolen the loader and smashed through the fence on his way out.

Mr McPherson explained that the thief drove from their Falkenberg Road business, down old Kapunda Road, down Murray Street and through the back of Foodland, before taking out branches and colliding with a tree.

There were no reported injuries.

Three patrols first spotted the front end loader on Old Kapunda Road but the man refused to stop, engaging police in a 20 minute pursuit doing just 25 kilometres an hour.

The driver was eventually arrested when he collided with a tree and breath tested, allegedly producing a blood alcohol reading of 0.093.

He was issued with a six month instant loss of licence.

The man was charged with engaging in a police pursuit, illegal use, property damage, being unlawfully on premises, drink driving, driving disqualified and possessing breaking implements.

The man was bailed to appear in the Tanunda Magistrates Court on January 17.

For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.