A VAN crammed with 600 kilos of stolen oranges refused to stop for the police in the Orihuela area of Alicante province and led officers on a high-speed chase.

Policia Nacional officers were operating a routine checkpoint on the CV-868 in the La Matanza district of Orihuela on June 6 when they tried to stop a van with two men driving towards Murcia in a ‘suspicious manner’.

Officers waved the vehicle down but the driver put his foot on the accelerator and roared off at high speed endangering other road users.

A chase ensued and after a few minutes the occupants got out and ran off through orchards without being caught.

Officers examined the van and besides various tools, they discovered 42 baskets full of stolen oranges weighing around 600 kilos.

Evidence inside the vehicle allowed the two men to be identified and the 42-year-old driver was arrested on June 15.

The man’s girlfriend was also arrested for reporting a bogus crime after filing a complaint that the van had been stolen the night before the police chase with the clear intention of hindering inquiries.

Authorities are continuing to look for the other van occupant and to locate the source of the stolen oranges.

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