A TWO-day manhunt for a Tamworth man stretching from that city to Armidale and Guyra has ended after he was captured in dramatic fashion by a huge contingent of officers.
Police swarmed an Armidale street to arrest Michael Booby who is now behind bars, accused of a raft of offences including breaking into homes and speeding more than double the limit through a busy school zone to evade officers.
He's also accused of reckless wounding of a woman with a weapon in Tamworth while also contravening an AVO - offences he denied in court on Thursday before he was refused bail by magistrate Peter Thompson.
Armidale detectives, the Proactive Crime Team, highway patrol and uniformed police backed by the dog squad closed in on Booby in a foot pursuit when he tried to flee a Fayle Avenue home in Armidale just before midday on Wednesday.
He's facing charges of police pursuit; driving while disqualified; aggravated break-and-enter while someone is home; break-in with intent; as well as his Tamworth charges.
New England Detective Acting Inspector Matt Crotty told the Express the manhunt - which first started earlier this week in Tamworth - had links "to ongoing property crime investigations" in Armidale.
"This was an extensive operation to apprehend the offender, and it involved several policing units as well as the dog squad," he said.
"Police canvassed the area out of Guyra overnight on Tuesday where he was last seen and alerted residents that this person of interest was on the run; and we threw every resource at this operation to make an arrest because of the danger to the public."
We threw every resource at this operation to make an arrest because of the danger to the public.New England Detective Acting Inspector Matt Crotty
Police allege Booby's disqualified from driving until next year but was spotted behind the wheel in a blue Holden Commodore about 3.25pm on Tuesday in Donnelly Street, when he allegedly sped past school children walking along the street.
The 25-year-old then allegedly continued to speed through several streets, topping 100km per hour through another 40km per hour speed zone, where police called off the chase because of safety fears for the public.
Less than two hours later he was spotted on the New England Highway in Guyra, allegedly speeding through several streets in the town.
Officers initiated a second chase where Booby was allegedly recorded at 160km an hour in a 100 zone on the Guyra-Ebor Road, and continually crossed to the wrong side of the road, police claim, before they lost sight of him.
His station wagon was found after it crashed into a tree on the same road, at the corner of Rockvale Road.
Booby's partner was found next to the car and police said she told them her boyfriend had run into bushland, before she was treated by paramedics for abdominal pains.
Police allege Booby walked close to 10km before he broke into a Rockvale Road home and stole car keys, after watching the occupant in the house.
The alleged victim spotted the accused in the window reflection and dialled Triple Zero, before police swarmed the area, dooknocking homes to alert residents.
Later that night and into the morning, police claim Booby went to a Guyra Road property and broke into the vacant home and slept there.
Police claim Booby then hitchhiked back to Guyra, and then persuaded residents to drive him to Armidale.
He was then captured after police went knocking in Fayle Avenue.
Booby was refused bail in court and will return to court later this month.