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Echuca police arrest man after wild chase

By Ivy Jensen

UPDATE: A WILD police chase between Deniliquin and Echuca has led to the arrest of a man who has been charged with a raft of offences, including carjacking, dangerous driving and having a firearm in his car.

Police allege Luke Fitzmaurice, 20, stole a car in Deniliquin on Saturday afternoon before fleeing to Moama and Echuca.

‘‘At about 5pm, the man attended a Charlotte St house to test drive a ute,’’ Senior Constable Peter Joice of Deniliquin police said.

‘‘When the car didn’t return, the owner attempted to contact him, eventually leading him to contact police.

‘‘Police later located the car in Harfleur St, resulting in a pursuit reaching dangerous speeds where he was spotted in Moama driving into Echuca.’’

Detective Sergeant Brendon Murphy of Echuca Criminal Investigation Unit said the Deniliquin man was then seen at United service station in Ogilvie Ave after midnight carrying a bag containing a long-armed firearm.

‘‘He was then observed at the McDonald’s carpark where he tried to avoid police. He was chased by police and arrested,’’ he said.

Det. Sgt Murphy said police found the .22-calibre firearm in a dumpster behind the Homemaker Centre, near Bunnings, in Ogilvie Ave.

He said the firearm, believed to be stolen from NSW, was one of five used in a burglary at Deniliquin.

Fitzmaurice was charged with dangerous driving and weapon offences and handling stolen goods.

Police also charged him with burglary, theft and obtaining property by deception relating to offences in Nathalia on February 13 and carjacking, attempted theft of a motor vehicle and driving offences in Shepparton on February 14.

Fitzmaurice was remanded in custody overnight to appear at Shepparton Magistrates Court on Monday where he was further remanded to March 8 at the same court.

EARLIER: A MAN who police chased from Deniliquin to Echuca has been arrested over a raft of offences, including carjacking, dangerous driving and having a firearm in his car.

Police attempted to stop the 20-year-old in Deniliquin about 11pm Saturday but he allegedly took off towards Moama before crossing into Echuca about midnight.

Detective Sergeant Brendon Murphy of Echuca Criminal Investigation Unit said the Deniliquin man was then seen at United service station in Ogilvie Ave carrying a bag containing a long-armed firearm.

‘‘He was then observed at the McDonald’s carpark where he tried to avoid police. He was chased by police and arrested,’’ he said.

Det. Sgt Murphy said police later found the .22-calibre firearm in a dumpster behind the Homemaker Centre, near Bunnings, in Ogilvie Ave.

He said the firearm, believed to be stolen from NSW, was one of five used in a burglary at Deniliquin.

The man was charged with dangerous driving, weapon and handling stolen goods offences.

Police also charged him with burglary, theft and obtaining property by deception relating to offences in Nathalia on February 13 as well as carjacking, attempted theft of a motor vehicle and driving offences in Shepparton on February 14.

He was remanded in custody overnight to appear at Shepparton Magistrates Court today.