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Townsville 'vigilante' arrested after chasing down car thieves.

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An alleged vigilante has been arrested in Townsville after chasing car thieves in a high speed pursuit.

Police say a 48 year old man saw a car being stolen in Aitkenvale on Saturday night and began pursuing in his own vehicle at high speed on the wrong side of the road.

The stolen car crashed into a power pole and the man then allegedly mounted the curb to box the vehicle in.

Three juveniles fled, with the man chasing them on foot.

He was arrested along with a 13-year-old boy - a search of the man's car found a tyre iron he allegedly intended using against car thieves.

A 48-year-old Pimlico man is due to appear in Townsville Magistrates Court in December charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle, possession of a weapon and driving and unregistered vehicle.

A 13-year-old Bungalow boy has also been charged, with unlawful use of a motor vehicle, trespass and possession of dangerous drugs.

Townsville police are warning members of the public not to take criminal matters into their own hands after the man was charged.

Acting District Superintendent Sean Dugger says vigilantes will be treated the same as anyone else engaging in criminal activity.

“This incident could have very easily ended in tragedy,” Superintendent Dugger says.

“The actions of vigilantes not only put their own lives potentially at risk, but those of innocent members of the community.

“We understand there can be public frustration with ongoing criminal activity, but taking matters into your own hands will not be tolerated by police.

He says Townsville police continue to successfully target property crime within the district and successfully bring offenders to justice.