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Police chasing gun-toting fugitive

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/05/2017

Police are scouring bush in the South Waikato, seeking an armed fugitive who drove off without paying for petrol in a stolen car on Wednesday.

About 9am Wednesday morning, the wanted man drove off without paying for petrol from a service station in Tokoroa.

He was spotted south of Tokoroa on State Highway One and was pursued on forestry roads, before he abandoned his car and ran into the bush.

Armed police, dog units and a helicopter have been deployed to hunt for him.

Police have said it is too early to tell whether the incident is connected to the search for King Country Mongrel Mob member Thomas Coffin, who was described on Tuesday as dangerous and possibly carrying a firearm.

Coffin has multiple warrants for arrest.

He has a dog tattoo on both sides of his face and has contacts in Te Kuiti, Taumarunui, Taneatua and coastal King Country.

Traffic is still diverted in areas around Whakamaru, Kinleith and Mangakino and police have urged that motorists travelling in the area do not pick up hitchhikers.

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