Three teens charged after chase | Video

UPDATE 12.30pm: A third teenager arrested yesterday following a high speed chase towards Bendigo has now been charged.

The 15-year-old Diamond Creek boy was charged with theft of a motor vehicle on Sunday.

A 17-year-old Thomastown girl previously charged with theft of a motor vehicle and released, has now also been charged with breach of bail.

Both have been remanded in custody to appear at a children’s court at a later date.

Three teenagers have now been charged in relation to the incident.

UPDATE Sunday: An allegedly stolen BMW last seen speeding towards Bendigo from Heathcote on Friday has been recovered in Thomastown.

Police located the BMW dumped on Alvarado Avenue just before 5pm on Saturday.

A short time later a 17-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy were arrested at an address on Emma Court.

Both are currently assisting police with their inquiries and police are still searching for one of the male occupants of the BMW that was involved in yesterday’s incidents.

UPDATE 3pm: Police Minister Lisa Neville has decried the "deplorable" behaviour of a 15-year-old boy who drove a stolen car in a highly erratic manner during a high-speed chase which ended in Bendigo on Friday, as the incident again thrust the issues of youth crime and police pursuits into the spotlight.

The state government has been hounded for its record on youth crime, particularly in the wake of disturbances at youth detention centres earlier this month.

Ms Neville reiterated on Saturday that the boy responsible for the chase on Friday and others who commit serious offences would be held to account.

But she would not question the actions of police in allowing the chase to continue at speeds of about 150 km/h for almost an hour before ending the pursuit as the boy reached Bendigo.

There have been more than a dozen serious incidents relating to police pursuits since the policy was revamped four months ago.

These include the fatal police shooting of a man who pinned an officer to a wall during a pursuit, police shooting at another driver during a pursuit, an alleged crime rampage which ended with offenders arrested on top of the West Gate bridge, at least eight instances of police cars being rammed, and several high-speed pursuits lasting several hours.

In late July, Victoria Police command allowed its officers more discretion to decide when to pursue an offender, after the previous policy had been found to be ineffective, and compromised the safety of officers and the public.

The Police Association backed the changes.

But further details about the new measures were not released, as command believed publicity surrounding the previous policy had empowered criminals to take on their pursuers, emboldened by the knowledge that police would disengage once certain speeds had been passed..

Ms Neville described the driver's behaviour during Friday's pursuit, which started about 3pm near Lancefield, as "outrageous".

Ms Neville said she wasn't going to "second guess" the decision to call off the pursuit, saying anyone who saw the footage would understand how erratic the driver was.

"The decision was made that the lives of others were at risk," she said.

Coalition police spokesman Edward O'Donohue said the pursuit again showed youth offenders were running wild.

"This extended pursuit is just another example of the youth crime problem in Victoria," he said.

"Whether it's in the youth justice facilities, on the road or in the community, we've got a youth justice crisis."

Ms Neville said the number of youth offenders had actually decreased in the past five years, but acknowledged some were committing serious crimes at a younger age.

"What we've seen over the last five years is a serious decline in young offending . But some of these groups are way too young. This is going to require everyone working together."

Acting Commander Tim Hansen said Victoria Police was considering how best to steer young people away from a life of crime.

"We're working across government to try to work out how we get those wrap-around services once we arrest them," he said.

"It's a whole of government approach, and not just a police solution."

Two girls who were allegedly with the boy during the pursuit have been arrested, but the driver, who was last seen in a stolen BMW sedan, has not been found. He is known to police.

- The Age

UPDATE 9.45am: Detectives have now charged two teenage girls in relation to the incident.

A 14-year-old Thomastown girl has been charged with two counts of theft of a motor vehicle and was remanded in custody.

A 17-year-old Thomastown girl was charged with one count of theft of a motor vehicle and was bailed.

Both girls will appear in a children's court at a later date.

UPDATE, Saturday: Two teenagers who led police on a wild 150km/h chase in an allegedly stolen luxury car last seen heading through Heathcote towards Bendigo remain on the run more than 16 hours after the incident.

Two girls, aged 14 and 17, were arrested on Saturday about 4pm and are continuing to assist police with their investigation. 

The driver, believed to be a 15-year-old boy, was seen driving up to 120km/h through Victorian towns, narrowly missing pedestrians and almost colliding with a semi-trailer. 

He is one of two people known to police still on the run last night.

Police first spotted the car, which looks to be a BMW, driving erratically in Thomastown about 2pm before it headed to Whittlesea.

The driver stopped for fuel in Kilmore, putting $30 worth of petrol in the car and fleeing without paying.

The two female passengers were arrested after running from the car outside an Aldi supermarket in Kilmore.

Kilmore Police confirmed the teenagers have been taken into custody at Mill Park police station.

The car, believed to be still carrying two males called Michael and John, continued through Lancefield and Heathcote before heading towards Bendigo.

One witness saw police “flying by with their sirens [on]” as the car sped through Heathcote.

The pursuit was called off shortly after due to safety concerns. 

Seven News aerial footage showed the car swerving across double lines and zigzagging around other vehicles.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman confirmed police were monitoring a vehicle detected driving erratically near Heathcote on Friday afternoon.

“The car was detected about 3pm in the Whittlesea area,” she said.

“At this stage it is believed there are two people in the vehicle. We do not have any further information at this stage and will update when more information comes to hand.”

Seven News reported police could be heard over a scanner talking about the pursuit. 

“So we've pounced on them. Unfortunately the car's fled the scene,” the officer said.

“Two males on board. There's still a John and a Michael in the car.”

The manager of the Coles Express in Kilmore confirmed the driver did not pay for petrol.

“I've got a police officer with me now, so I cannot say much,” the service station manager told Fairfax Media.

A witness in Kilmore, who gave her name as Julia, said she pulled into the Aldi car park with her two children shortly before four police cars blocked the entrance just before 4pm.

She said she saw two girls “giggling and running” into Aldi.

“Two cops ran into the Aldi and arrested them,” she said.

“They probably weren't 16, but that's what they looked like.”

The driver also stopped at the Shell Service in Lancefield but did not get any fuel.

A store attendant said he heard the driver put his brakes on, but by the time he went outside they were gone.

“I didn't even look at them because I was inside,” he said.

“They didn't fill up anything.”

Rose Taylor, an employee at Heathcote Winery on High Street, said she didn't see the car itself, but she did see “a lot of police flying by with their sirens”.

“I had one customer in,” she said.

“Being Heathcote, not much happens – we were both wondering what was going on.”

Thousands of people watched live footage of the car speeding through Victoria on Channel 7 and Channel 9 on Facebook feeds earlier on Friday afternoon.

The two girls, aged 14 and 17 and both from Thomastown, are assisting police with their inquiries. 

The two remaining occupants of the stolen car are known to police but still at large.

 – The Age

UPDATE, 8pm: Police have arrested two people and are searching for two more in relation to an allegedly stolen car that sped through central Victoria.

Two females are assisting police with their inquiries about a grey BMW sedan, which was seen driving erratically in Thomastown about 2pm on Friday. 

A pursuit was initiated, but terminated shortly afterwards for safety reasons.

Police continued to monitor the car as it made its way through central Victoria, “driving erratically” on the Calder Freeway.

It then turned off and made its way to Kilmore, stopping at a supermarket. 

The two females, 14 and 17, were arrested after walking into the store. 

Two car’s two remaining occupants drove off toward Heathcote, along the Northern Highway. 

“The vehicle was not pursued at this point for safety reasons,” police said in a statement.

“It is believed that the two outstanding occupants of the stolen car are known to police but no arrests have been made at this stage.”

The girls, both from Thomastown, are assisting police with their inquiries. 

Police have appealed for anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

EARLIER: Police are monitoring a vehicle detected “driving erratically” on the Calder Freeway. 

Two people are believed to be on board. 

The car was detected about 3pm in the Whittlesea area, Victoria Police said. 

It was monitored as it sped through Heathcote. 

“We do not have any further information at this stage and will update when more information comes to hand,” a police statement said.

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