When a 21-year-old Albury man wearing nothing but a pair of black Bonds underwear jumped off James Frost’s roof and asked for a ride, the latter hoped it was only budgies the bloke was smuggling.
Mr Frost said he and his mother pulled into the driveway of their North Albury home on Friday afternoon and were greeted by a barely clothed man who offered them $20 if he could get a lift.
“I said at the time I don't know where you're keeping the $20,” Mr Frost said.
“We hadn't noticed the police at this point, who were up the street.
“I went back to the car to talk to mum and when I looked up he was gone.
“In her 55 years she has never seen a man jump off the roof in his underpants and ask for a lift.”
Police then checked Mr Frost’s yard for signs of the man, who was arrested minutes later on Tobruk Street.
The man allegedly stole a white Toyota Landcruiser from West Albury on Wednesday and along with two juvenile passengers was hounded by police for days.
Inspector Scott Russell said the four-wheel-drive had been used in several pursuits and fraud cases in Albury and Wagga in the following days until it was recovered on Friday.
“It was driven in an extremely dangerous manner, including driving deliberately at police vehicles … and allegedly driving on the footpath on New Year’s Eve,” he said.
“We believe they stole fuel from a Shell service station in Albury and they also failed to pay for fuel in Wagga.”
The car was spotted at about 4.30pm on Friday travelling south on the Olympic Highway towards Albury.
Inspector Russell said two people took off in the car when it was seen by police at Memorial Park while a third, a 16-year-old Albury male, was arrested.
“The vehicle was then spotted in the North Albury area, where it appears to have come to a stop in Mate Street and the driver and his passenger have fled on foot,” he said.
Police apprehended a 15-year-old Albury male not long later while the 21-year-old driver was caught after his roof antics.
All three have been refused bail and will appear in the Albury Local Court and Albury Children’s Court on Tuesday.
Inspector Russell said one police officer suffered minor injuries when they attempted to arrest the driver while another was bitten by a dog when they jumped a fence during the pursuit in North Albury.
A 22-year-old Wodonga man was also arrested on Sunday after a pursuit ended with a foot chase and a blue Holden Commodore wrapped around a power pole in Albury.