Alleged armed robber arrested after manhunt in south-west

A 26-YEAR-OLD Portland man will appear in Portland court this morning charged with armed robbery after an extensive manhunt yesterday.

Aaron Ellis, 26, of Hurd Street, was remanded in custody overnight at the Warrnambool police station cells after he was arrested near the South Australian border after a search involving south-west and South Australian police officers yesterday afternoon.

He has been charged with a dozen offences including armed robbery and aggravated burglary, with more charges expected to be laid.

A bail justice was told during a remand hearing late last night that Mr Ellis' offending started overnight last Thursday when he was allegedly involved in a break-in at a Tyrendarra farmhouse.

Police allege Mr Ellis broke into a gun safe containing four guns and took a shotgun and ammunition.

On Friday Mr Ellis was walking along the beach with a shotgun when he approached a family and requested a ride to Narrawong.

A member of the family drove him to Narrawong with Mr Ellis in possession of the shotgun. He told the driver he had been shooting rabbits.

Police allege Mr Ellis has been having relationship issues and officers had been in touch with his partner during the weekend while continuously searching for the man.

Efforts to arrange for Mr Ellis to surrender himself to police were unsuccessful.

Yesterday police continued to search for Mr Ellis after becoming aware he was in the north Portland area.

Portland police station received a report about 1pm that a man had approached two occupants of a home near the railway line.

While making it known he was in possession of the shotgun Mr Ellis demanded the people hand over the keys to a Holden Commodore.

It is then alleged Mr Ellis took off in the car heading west towards the South Australian border.

At one stage there was a pursuit involving Victorian police and Mr Ellis turned off into the forest in an effort to evade officers.

Police cordoned off an area in an effort to contain Mr Ellis with officers from Portland, Hamilton, Coleraine, Heywood and South Australia involved in the operation.

Mr Ellis is claimed to have lost control of the Commodore he was driving about 2.30pm and crashed near the Donovans turn-off approaching the South Australia border.

He was arrested by Portland highway patrol unit police officers and handed over to Portland crime investigation unit detectives.

Mr Ellis was interviewed, charged and then remanded in custody by a bail justice to appear in the Portland Magistrates Court this morning for a bail/remand hearing.

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