Man feared drowned safe at home
A MAN who was feared drowned after he jumped into the Tweed River while evading police on Thursday night and started a two-day air, river and land search was reported safe and sound by his family at 4pm on Saturday.
Police, SES and Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter teams searched in vain for two days fearing the man had been taken by the fast-flowing currents.
Acting Inspector Jason Dowds said police were yet to speak to the man who would likely claim he did not realise he was the subject of a search.
"He actually got out of the river that night (Thursday)," Insp Dowds said.
"He's safe and well after he left us searching for him for two days.
"It would have been good if he'd let us know earlier, as we had police divers come up from Sydney; a stack of resources.
"He would've known we were looking for him."
The inspector said he was glad the person of interest was alive.
"Even though we're chasing him for offences that doesn't mean we want him to drown in the river."
Police wish to question the man in relation to a motor vehicle theft the same day he fled into the river.
But Insp Dowds said he was not likely to face additional charges because of the extensive search for him.
"We want to speak to him in relation to the original theft," he said.
The saga began when the 30-year-old man was first confronted by police while he was sitting in a car with a woman on Urliup Rd near Bilambil on Thursday afternoon.
Police said he jumped over the woman sitting in the passenger seat then climbed out the window and bolted.
On Saturday Insp Gary Cowan said police received various sightings of the man around Bilambil until receiving information that a man fitting the description of the one that had slipped through their fingers hours prior was at Tweed Heads.
About 8pm police approached the man near the Scales Seafood shop on Kennedy Dr.
The man then ran towards the Tweed River and jumped in.