Police are hunting a man following a pursuit in Feilding that is believed to be linked to a bank robbery in Palmerston North.
Just before 4pm a man walked into the Kiwi Bank in Terrace End, Palmerston North, presented a firearm, believed to be a handgun, and demanded money
The man who was a Maori, wearing a red hooded top and red and white baseball style cap, was handed a sum of cash by the teller and he then left the bank.
He was seen to go down a nearby alleyway to a car park area and get into a vehicle.
About 5pm a Police Traffic Alcohol Group car went to carry out a routine stop on a car in East Street, Feilding. The vehicle made off and was pursued for a few minutes before it mounted a curb crashing into a small tree on the corner of East Street and Kimbolton Road.
The driver ran off from the vehicle and the male passenger remained with the vehicle. A firearm was found in the car. The male passenger has been spoken to by Police. No charges have been laid at this stage.
For four hours following the pursuit, searches were made of the area, which includes a large park adjacent to a river. A number of police officers and two dogs were involved in the search and during that time Police received reported sightings of a man climbing fences and going into the yards of residential properties, but the man has not yet been found.
Anyone with any information relevant to today's events is asked to contact Palmerston North Criminal Investigation Unit on 06 351 3600. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Media enquiries should be referred to Communications Manager Kim Perks on 06 351 2546 or 027 234 8256.