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AN EXCITING CHASE., Issue 10420, 15 September 1897
AN EXCITING CHASE.
RUNNING A BURGLAR TO EARTH. A man named Thomas Whyte M'Lollan alias Thomas Whyte has been captured by Detective. Maddcrn (of Auckland) and Constable Stranger .(.of Otorohanga), after an exciting chase. Whyte is alleged to bo the burglar who broke into Smith and Caughey’a premises at Auckland on the 26th August, and succeeded in making his escape when surprised at his work. He is a young fellow of twenty-three or twenty-four, of medium height and slight build, and when brought into Auckland yesterday was wearing a short beard. The circumstances of his arrest are of a sensational nature. Last morning, from information received, Detective • Maddern left by train for the King Country, where he was j lined by Constable Stranger (of Otorohanga) and Constable Carroll (of Kihikihi). They rode to Te Kuiti, and thence to Awakino. ■ Uncertain whether the man had gone south to Wanganui or towards the coast, Detective Maddern decided to send Constables Jones and Carroll down the line on a jigger, while he and Stranger proceeded southward to the Poro-tarao tunnel, reaching there on Sunday afternoon. A little south of the tunnel the pursuing party found that a place had been broken into and £1 16s lid stolen. Hearing -this they took fresh horses and went lull speed down the Ongaruhe Valley to Kawakawa, on the load to Upper Wanganui. About a quarter of a mile from Kawakawa the party left their horses and stole into the settlement, and searched through the huts and store, but without fiuding the man they were after. At four next morning they got on his trail, finding his footprints on the road leading to Taumarunui. One of the man’s boots had half the sole cut out, and this peculiarity enabled the pursuers to recognise the trail. It could be : eon that Whyte was heading for the Wanganui River. For twenty miles they traced the footprints until Te Kuri, a Maori settlement, was reached, where two fresh horses were lent to Detective Maddern and Constable Stranger by the Maoris. They then went down towards Ong.irhue Valley, accompanied by a young fellow named Meredith, to show them the road. About a mile from the river Stranger noticed a faint column of smoko rising up. He pointed it out to the others, and they at onco headed for it, and soon found that it was on the near bank of the river. The three pursuers tied up their horses and crept down to the water, where Detective Maddern saw a piece ot canvas, evidently doing duty as a tent, half hidden by scrub. “That’s where he is,” said Maddern. The detective divided his forces, posting Stranger on the left Meredith in rear of the tent, while ho himself went down to -the edge of the bank. Just as he neared the tent the man inside caught sight of him aud charged headlong for the river, with the detective after him. The tent was about three chains from the bank, aud the detective got within a yard of his man, but the fellow reached the water, dived in, and struck out for the other bank. The detective plunged in after him, calling to the other two to get their horses and ford the river, so as to cut the man off, while ho himself headed the fellow into deep water. lu mid-stream the man got stuck in a pit of soft mud, and sank until only his hands and the lip of his nose remained .out of the water. He was helpless, and the horseman, plunging in, dragged him out by the collar on to the bank more dead than alive. The water was running at a tremendous rate, and the fugitive had a narrow escape from drowning. His captors walked him back to Te Kuri, three miles off, and there got a fresh horse aud brought him up to Ts Kuiti, thence by train to Auckland. Whyte is well-known to Detective Maddern, who know him in the South. The accused is charged with stealing goods valued at £5 10s from Smith aud Caughey’s.
AN EXCITING CHASE., Issue 10420, 15 September 1897
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