A man armed with a tyre iron pursued a stolen car driven by young teenagers until they crashed into a power pole in Townsville, police say.
On Saturday night about 10pm, police say a 48-year-old man was driving along McLean Street in the suburb of Gulliver, when he saw a Hyundai Santa Fe that had been stolen from the neighbouring suburb of Aitkenvale.
The man allegedly began pursuing the car at high speed on the wrong side of the road, until it lost control and crashed into a power pole at Currajong.
Police say the older man then attempted to box the car in by mounting the curb. Three young people fled on foot and the 48-year-old chased them.
Police eventually arrived to find the man and a 13-year-old boy hiding under a house.
Officers searched the man’s car and found a tyre iron, which they allege was “intended for the purpose of using against car thieves”.
The man was charged with a series of offences – including dangerous driving, weapon possession and driving an unregistered vehicle – while the 13-year-old was charged with drug offences, trespass and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
Police said the chase could have “easily ended in tragedy”.
“The actions of vigilantes not only put their own lives potentially at risk, but those of innocent members of the community,” acting district superintendent Sean Dugger said.
“We understand there can be public frustration with ongoing criminal activity, but taking matters into your own hands will not be tolerated by police.”