Fleeing pair held after chopper chase

POLICE resorted to a helicopter to nab two men who led them on a high-speed chase throughout Monash.

About 10am on November 19, officers tried to pull over two men in a car who were not using seatbelts. The car took off at a high speed, reaching 175km/h on Centre Road with the police in pursuit.

Senior Sergeant Wayne Elston of the Nunawading highway patrol said the 15-minute chase continued along Centre Road, Clayton Road, Heatherton Road and Westall Road before it was abandoned over concerns for public safety.

A nearby police helicopter then followed the men, eventually tracking them to Moriah Street in Clayton. Police said the two were seen throwing some items out of the car.

The men then drove away and pulled into a petrol station on Clayton Road when they saw a highway patrol car. A Glen Waverley sergeant then parked his car across the driveway of the service station to block the men from escaping. They were arrested at the scene and were found to be driving a car with stolen numberplates.

A 23-year-old Mount Waverley Man will be charged on summons. The 30-year-old driver from Clayton South will face charges that include conduct endangering life and possession of illegal drugs.

Senior Sergeant Elston applauded harsher road penalties being considered by the Baillieu government for hoons who engage in high-speed chases.

Under the tough new laws, drivers who trigger a police pursuit could face up to three years in jail. Even if police abandon a chase and the driver is caught at a later date, the offence of 'engaging' still stands. There were 720 pursuits on Victorian roads last year.

"When you're in a pursuit, you've got to continually make a risk assessment," Senior Sergeant Elston said.

"If they're going to run, they're placing themselves at risk, they're placing the public at risk and they're placing the police members at risk.

"It's just too dangerous. You start getting cars too fast and it doesn't matter how good your intention is, they take a set amount of time to stop and that's all there is to it.

"If they want to do that type of behaviour, you don't need them on the road."

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