Crash ends thieves' 240km joyride in stolen luxury car

POLICE have appealed for help in identifying three men after a stolen car was crashed some 240km from where it was taken.

Richmond Police District Acting Inspector Rob Hindle said a white Mercedes Benz was stolen from a Heather Ave, Goonellabah property just before 12 noon on Tuesday.

Insp Hindle said the Mercedes was later found crashed near Stanthorpe, in Queensland, about 7pm.

He said the owner had parked the car, with the key inside, just moments before it was allegedly taken.

It's understood three men of Aboriginal appearance were travelling in the Mercedes and an accompanying vehicle, believed to be a black Madza CX5.

Insp Hindle said police believe the black car had also been stolen.

The Mercedes' owner immediately alerted police to the theft.

Officers saw the vehicle in nearby East Lismore a few minutes later and a short pursuit ensued.

"About 12 noon a pursuit was initiated, but police called it off a short time afterwards," he said.

A Queensland Police spokesperson told News Corp the two vehicles were seen on the New England Highway in the Ballandean area - about 20km north of the Queensland border - about 3pm.

Police attempted to intercept them, but the drivers allegedly failed to stop and continued to travel northbound, allegedly reaching speeds of up to 170km/h.

It's understood the Mercedes was crashed on Sorrento Rd at Dalveen, north of Stanthorpe and the men left in the other vehicle along Rabbit Fence Rd.

"The vehicle was abandoned at that stage," Insp Hindle said.

He said those in the Mercedes absconded into the Mazda and left the scene.

Another Heather Ave property was broken into throughout the day and some property was stolen.

Police believe this was connected with the car theft.

Insp Hindle said police later attended the Jubulum Mission at Tabulam, where they believe they recovered all of the property stolen from that home.

He has warned property owners to secure their vehicles and homes after the incidents.

He said the Mercedes, which had a keyless start, was parked outside the home just before being stolen.

"We believe the vehicle was not secured," he said.

"The owner of the vehicle was at home.

"The vehicle had just one moment before been parked up on the driveway and the vehicle was not secured."

Anyone with information about the incident has been urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Lismore police on 02 6626 0599.



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