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Cops spot Vic escapee's getaway car twice

AAP logoAAP 8/11/2016 Helen Velissaris and Melissa Meehan

A young man who escaped a Victorian juvenile jail and got into a waiting ute was chased by police twice in one hour shortly after he fled.

Lachlan Mitchell, 20, was serving a 12-month sentence for serious driving and firearm offences when he left the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre about 2pm on Tuesday.

He got into a black ute that was waiting for him outside bearing the South Australian number plate XAA230.

Police spotted the ute on Gillies Road in Ballarat at 2:25pm and pursued it for a short time until the chase was called off when the car approached the town of Wendouree.

The ute was spotted again 30 minutes later on the same road where another chase ensued, but was called off minutes later.

Victoria Police say they don't believe he has left the state.

Mitchell, originally from Warrnambool, was arrested in September after the stolen car he was travelling in crashed into a B-Double tanker in Camperdown.

He was on the run from police at the time, wanted after a series of armed robberies.

The Warrnambool Standard reported he suffered a broken leg and arm in that crash and was taken to hospital under police guard.

A Department of Health and Human Services spokesman said they would be conducting a "full review of the incident" on Tuesday.

They also said reports that Mitchell left Malmsbury in a wheelchair were incorrect.

Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre is a minimum security prison for inmates aged between 16 and 23. It is one of two youth justice centres in Victoria.

Mitchell is described as having blue eyes and short hair, wearing black shorts, white runners, a grey t-shirt and black jumper.

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