A man almost drowned trying to evade police by hiding in a thermal pool in Rotorua.
He was allegedly stealing from cars when he was pursued by two dog handlers to the Sulphur Flats area near the Polynesian Pools.
District Commander Glenn Dunbier says they found him completely submerged in a hot pool.
After getting out of the pool, he was hand cuffed but he again took off and dived into another pool and had to be rescued by police officers.
He's in a critical condition in hospital.
Photo: NZ Herald