A police officer drew his gun in an effort to stop a stolen Mercedes-Benz as its "crazy" driver rammed his way out of the maze of narrow streets in Sheung Wan yesterday morning.
Four vehicles were hit by the driver before he escaped against the flow of traffic, dumped the car and fled with a bag that the car's owner said contained about HK$20,000.
The man, who was said to be Asian, with apparently dyed blond hair, about 1.7 metres tall, aged in his 30s and well-built, is suspected to have been involved in an earlier vehicle theft in which a light goods van was stolen in Causeway Bay and dumped in Sheung Wan. Police were still hunting him last night.
The owner of the Mercedes told police he had parked his car in Hillier Street with the engine running at about 8am while he bought newspapers at a convenience store.
He saw the man get into the car and drive away down Wing Lok Street before being blocked by traffic and reversing back into Hillier Street.
"The driver was crazy. He tried to mount the pavement but failed," a witness said.
"Police officers arrived quickly and ordered the driver to stop. One policeman pulled out his gun. But the driver didn't stop."
In Hillier Street, the Mercedes rammed a light goods vehicle that was waiting at traffic lights, tearing off its bumper.
"I heard police shouting 'Don't move, don't move'," the van driver said. "So I didn't move despite being hit twice.
"The Mercedes-Benz then reversed again and escaped."
Pursued by police, the driver of the stolen car drove westward along Wing Lok Street and against the traffic on Morrison Street before speeding away.
During the chase, the light goods vehicle, two taxis, and another lorry were damaged.
The stolen car was found some 20 minutes later in Fung Mat Road near the Western Wholesale Food Market.
The right front tyre on the vehicle was flat, and there was slight damage to the headlights and bonnet.
Witnesses said the driver escaped on foot towards Central carrying a bag.
In the earlier incident, a light goods vehicle loaded with tea leaves was reported stolen from 463-483 Lockhart Road, where the driver had parked the vehicle to make deliveries.
Police later found it in Wing Lok Street.