Car thieves still at large

POLICE are still searching for thieves who rammed a patrol car near Evanston with the ute they stole, before dumping it at a vacant block in Evanston Gardens a short time later on Monday.

Police deployed the PolAir helicopter on Monday afternoon throughout the Gawler area to try and locate a 2018 black Ford Ranger utility that was reported stolen from a Belair address earlier that morning.

The Ranger had been sighted a number of times throughout the northern suburbs.

At 12.45pm, a patrol came across the Ranger – however, with its number-plate covered – on Main North Road, just south of Evanston.

The ute reversed into the patrol car and drove off, heading towards Evanston – the officers were not injured in the incident.

Immediately after this, the ute was spotted by Craigmore resident Amy Johnson, at Main North Road’s Gawler turn-off, who said the driver was speeding and swerving.

“There was a car behind me and I looked into my rear vision mirror and saw the ute go around the car behind me (it’s not two lanes),” she said.

“I’m talking about where Salt Church is on the left.

“I got up near the motel/tattoo part and I thought, surely, he won’t try to overtake me.

“(The Ford) then went into the left turning lane, which leads into the motel, and flew around me.

“(It) then went further up near the lights where cars were merging and nearly caused an accident, then sped off onto Barton Street.”

Ms Johnson didn’t see who the driver was, or how many people were in the car, but reported the incident to police.

Earlier, a Uleybury man sighted the Ford outside his rural property, and confronted a female passenger who asked for directions to Mount Pleasant.

The ute was eventually found by police abandoned in a vacant block on Hamilton Boulevard, Evanston Gardens, at about 2pm.

It will now be forensically examined by police as their investigations continue.

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at crimestopperssa.com.au

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Matteo Gagliardi joined The Bunyip in August 2016 with almost two years experience in regional print media, having previously worked at a community newspaper in Swan Hill, Victoria. Covering politics, local government and crime, Matteo likes to sink his teeth into hard-hitting issues, but also enjoys spending time getting to know the Gawler community. Matteo also has a passion for science, agriculture and the environment, and has previously worked as a media officer at the Australian Science Media Centre.

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