An early morning hit-and-run near Allansford on Sunday, which left a horse trapped in a float for 90 minutes, is believed d to be linked to a series of offences in Warrnambool and the district.
Detective Senior Constable Craig Wastell, of the Warrnambool police crime investigation unit, said there was a collision involving a stolen LandCruiser and a car and horse float on the Princes Highway near Staffords Road about 7.30am Sunday.
"Both vehicles were heading west towards Warrnambool," he said.
"The LandCruiser pulled into centre median strip and then did a sharp left, colliding with the side of the horse float. The other vehicle was not damaged."
The investigator said the horse float suffered significant damage and a horse in the float was trapped for 90 minutes before it could be freed.
"The LandCruiser then continued west and was last seen turning right into Horne Road," he said.
"The LandCruiser was seen at Camperdown about 9am by police officers. It evaded police, accelerated away and there was no pursuit.
"About 20 minutes later the LandCruiser, which was stolen in Ballarat on August 28, was located abandoned at Derrinallum.
"It also was fitted with false number plates, which were also stolen in Ballarat."
Detective Senior Constable Wastell said the LandCruiser had received significant front-end damage.
"Two or more occupants have fled the vehicle after it was abandoned," he said.
"We believe those individuals have been involved in committing a number of offences in Warrnambool and across the district."
Those offences include a burglary at Rebel Sport in Warrnambool, a smash-and-grab at the Cobden Golf Club which left a damage bill of more than $50,000 and a break-in at Timboon Motors.
"A Mazda BT-50 used in other offences was located near Lismore last Thursday destroyed by fire," Detective Senior Constable Wastell said.
"Anyone who saw the BT-50 in the south-west or the LandCruiser/horse float accident is requested to contact the Warrnambool CIU or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000."
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