Police officers, dogs and helicopter look for wanted man Parone Tuhakaraina in Matamata overnight

A man described as dangerous by police fled officers in a vehicle and then escaped on foot after crashing into a parked car.

Police are searching for Parone Tuhakaraina following a large operation overnight in Matamata which saw police scouring backyards and the Eagle helicopter circling the area.

A police operation was carried out last night after a vehicle linked to the 31-year-old was spotted in the Matamata area.

The vehicle was stopped by police just after 10.45pm, but the passenger, understood to be Tuhakaraina, jumped into the driver’s seat and drove off while officers were arresting the woman driver.

The vehicle then ran over road spikes and eventually stopped after hitting an empty parked vehicle on Broadway.

The driver jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot.

Eastern Waikato area commander inspector Dean Anderson said police conducted an extensive search of the area, including the use of the Eagle helicopter, but were not able to locate him.

Tuhakaraina has warrants for his arrest and is considered dangerous and should not be approached.

Matamata residents posted on social media saying they heard the Police Eagle helicopter flying over their properties from about 11.30pm last night.

Waikato police have been looking for Tuhakaraina since at least Friday when they launched an earlier appeal for sightings of him.

One resident in the Tower Rd area posted that Police had told him to stay inside while they looked for the person.

Another person posted that armed police with guns and a dog had been looking around their property and had also been searching neighbours’ backyards too.

Emergency services vehicles were also parked at the Tower Rd and Rawhiti Ave intersection around midnight.

The Eagle helicopter left about 1am, according to residents.

Anyone who has seen Tuhakaraina or may have any information which may assist can call Police on 111 and quote file number 210716/6096. Information can also provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

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