Armed hit and run driver escapes during police chase

AN ARMED car-jacker, last seen travelling up the Pacific Hwy on the NSW North Coast, is on the run from police.

The man, aged in his mid to late-20s, was caught speeding in a Honda Prelude near Newcastle late Sunday.

When officers attempted to pull over the driver at Hexham, he crossed into north-bound traffic and crashed into a car.

He then sped away and crashed into scrub.

An off-duty officer tried to arrest the driver who allegedly produced a knife and broke free.

After crossing four lanes of traffic, the man jumped into a Toyata LandCruiser and ordered the driver to speed away at knife-point.

At a pedestrian crossing near Ashtonfield, the driver managed to escape while the offender took over and sped off back towards Hexham.

Police abandoned the chase in the interest of public safety and have appealed to help find the driver who is believed to still be driving the gold-coloured 4WD with the NSW registration CJC 09Y.

The driver is about 175cms tall and 85kgs in weight with a fair, freckled complexion and short-cut red hair.

Anyone who sees him is urged to phone 000.

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