Armed police in Queenstown arrested a man at a petrol station in Frankton, after a chase which started with a burglary in Invercargill early this morning.
A man fled after being found breaking into a commercial premises in Invercargill about 7.45am
Several hours later, the police were told he was near Winton driving along State Highway 6 towards Queenstown .
They tracked his car and deployed road spikes near Kawarau Bridge.
The man eventually stopped at the Frankton BP service station, and tried to steal another vehicle, before locking himself in the toilet, police said.
Armed police took him into custody about 30 minutes later, at 4pm.
Southland man, John Edmonds was coming back from a skiing trip with his wife and children, when he stopped to get some diesel at the Frankton BP.
Mr Edmonds said he was about to pay at the counter, when he saw a man trying to drive away his car, so he ran over and wrestled away the keys and pulled him out.
"He sort of stumbled through my car, between a couple of pumps and then was about to run away from the BP, but a cop car pulled in and he changed his direction and ran into the BP.
"Just as my kids were standing at the door of the BP, he ran passed them and was yelling to get out of his way and he had a gun," he said.
Mr Edmonds said he didn't have time to think about what he was doing when he ran to get the man out of his car.
"I just did what I had to do, the kids got a bit shaken up, but they're all good now," he said.
A 40-year-old man is due to appear in Invercargill District Court on Monday, facing numerous charges.