A border-hopping driver has been arrested after 19 days on the run.
The 21-year-old from Casterton - 42 kilometres east of the South Australian border, was taken into police custody in dramatic circumstances.
A cafe owner helped an off-duty police officer arrest the man on Wednesday.
He has been charged with about 25 criminal offences and in addition faces fines of breaching the chief health officer's regulations, which could amount to $30,000.
The driver will appear in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court on Thursday for a bail/remand hearing.
He has been wanted by police since July 2 after allegedly stealing a car on June 28.
Detective Sergeant Mark James, of the Hamilton police crime investigation unit, said charges included a burglary and theft in Coleraine, theft of vehicles, handling stolen goods and three counts of dangerous driving while pursued by police.
"It will be alleged this person has continually crossed the Victoria/South Australia border - every day - during the past 19 days in an attempt to avoid police and in breach of the chief health officer's directions," he said.
"We expect to issue numerous tickets for COVID breaches."
It is understood that South Australian police are also investigating offences in that state, including evading police and fuel thefts.
"The alleged offender has been on the run for 19 days," Detective Sergeant James said.
"It started with an alleged stolen car and was then followed by allegations he was involved in hoon driving at Casterton and evading police overnight on July 2.
"We will allege that the man was driving three different vehicles during his time on the run - a green Commodore, a Nissan Navara ute and on Tuesday he was in a HiLux ute.
"Two of those vehicles have been recovered in South Australia."
Police will allege that during pursuits the man deliberately drove at police, travelled at high speed and continually refused to obey lawful directions.
"He clearly resolved to not pull over when instructed to do so by police members," Detective Sergeant James said.
"It was fortunate that the off-duty police member and the cafe owner were able to take the man into custody on Wednesday morning although there was a scuffle.
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