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Police patrol car stolen in Whangamata

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/06/2016

A person has driven off in a police patrol car with firearms locked in it at a routine traffic stop in the Bay of Plenty.

At about 11.30pm on Saturday the passenger of a vehicle which was stopped in Whangamata for speeding took the officer's patrol car, police say.

Police recovered the patrol car three hours later in Opoutere and they're still hunting for the thief.

All firearms were still secured in a locked box in the vehicle.

Police say it's a "rare and isolated incident", and it's being treated seriously.

They're following lines of investigation to locate the thief.

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