Close encounter with armed fugitives in the outback

OUTBACK CHASE: The stolen Toyota utility being recovered from the at Sliding Rock Creek bed where the apprehension took place night before.
OUTBACK CHASE: The stolen Toyota utility being recovered from the at Sliding Rock Creek bed where the apprehension took place night before.

When Kangaroo Island locals David Foreman and Ruth de la Lande were camping in the Flinders Ranges earlier this month, they never imagined being caught up in an outback police pursuit.

A pursuit that involved an armed fugitive and his girlfriend wanted by police in Queensland, driving a stolen Toyota utility.

David and Ruth had just set up camp around 4pm on September 2 at the remote Warraweena station, when they noticed some vehicles in the distance travelling at high speed through the creek bed.

Thinking that some campers were in a hurry to get to their camp, they had no idea it was a couple of SA Police cars giving chase.

Outback car chase - SA Police video

At the same time, they had noticed a plane flying overhead seemed to be circling their camp.

It turned out to be a police spotter plane. Not long afterwards, just on dark, the station manager turned up and informed them of the situation.

He suggested they relocate to the homestead because they had found the fugitives' car abandoned just 2 kilometres further up the creek bed.

It had been covered in branches to conceal it from the plane. The police were fearful the wanted man and his girlfriend were armed.

Along with other evacuated campers, the KI couple spent a sleepless night listening to various police activities.

This included the arrival of the STAR Group from Adelaide at 10pm and circling choppers searching until 2am.

An arrest was made at 12.30am and it took police several hours to walk the fugitive and his girlfriend out from their damaged car, before they were transported back to Port Augusta.

The stolen Toyota utility at Sliding Rock Creek bed after being fingerprinted by investigators. Photo Ruth de la Lande

The stolen Toyota utility at Sliding Rock Creek bed after being fingerprinted by investigators. Photo Ruth de la Lande

The stolen Toyota utility at Sliding Rock Creek bed after being fingerprinted by investigators. Photo Ruth de la Lande

The stolen Toyota utility at Sliding Rock Creek bed after being fingerprinted by investigators. Photo Ruth de la Lande

A few days later Ruth and Dave walked up Sliding Rock Creek bed to the scene of the apprehension just as investigators were retrieving the car.

They were then able to piece together the whole story.

"We felt quite vulnerable at the time but were relieved to be able to return to our campsite the next morning knowing there was no threat," Ruth said. "Probably an adventure we didn't need to have!"

This story Close encounter with armed fugitives in the outback first appeared on The Islander.

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