The PSNI are on the look-out for a motorist who was stopped in the Republic of Ireland on suspicion of drink driving, stole the police car he had been placed in and drove it to Northern Ireland.
The suspect was stopped in north Dublin at 9pm on Sunday night when he undertook his daring escapade.
The man, who was behind the wheel of a Lexus car, was stopped by two gardai in Lusk and failed a breath test.
He was placed in the back seat of a garda car while one officer drove his car to Balbriggan garda station.
He was transported to the station in the back of an 05 registered Ford Focus garda car, but when the officer got out of the car outside the station he managed to jump into the front seat and took off towards the M1.
Gardai scrambled an air support helicopter and set up a checkpoint at the toll booths outside Drogheda.
The driver crashed through the barriers and the thief continued his journey north in the Newry direction.
The PSNI became involved in the search for the man and the stolen car.
The vehicle was found overnight in South Armagh, some 60km from Balbriggan where the car was stolen.
A senior garda source admitted that the incident was very embarrassing for the gardai.
It is understood that Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has ordered an immediate in inquiry into the incident.