Horrifying dash camera footage from inside a stolen Audi R8 shows the car veering into oncoming traffic as it speeds at 160km/h through suburban streets.
The high-performance vehicle was parked outside a couple’s Newcastle home when it was snatched just before 3pm on December 20.
As the vehicle left the Mereweather house, the dash camera automatically turned on, capturing the thief’s dangerous joy ride.
Dash camera footage taken from inside a stolen Audi has captured the car veering in front of vehicles and racing through stop signs during a dangerous joy ride in Newcastle
The car ripped through the city, racing through red traffic lights (one pictured) and zipping in and out of lanes
Footage posted online shows the driver racing down the road, crossing into the opposite lane of traffic at high speed to overtake other cars.
The supercar comes close to crashing head-on with other motorists, before quickly zipping back into the correct lane.
The engine can be heard roaring as the sports car rips through suburban streets, dashing across multiple stop and give way signs at speeds close to 100km above the speed limit.
As the car reaches a traffic light, the driver swerves in front of the opposite lane of traffic to turn right, almost colliding with an oncoming four-wheel drive.
The car continues speeding down the road, drifting around corners, bounding off speed bumps, and beeping at other vehicles as it rushes through stop signs.
At one point the driver stops, as smoke billows from the front of the vehicle, and urges pedestrians to jump into the car.
‘Come on mate, get in here!’ he yells.
Owners Luke and Bec (pictured) said they estimated the damage to their Audi was $100,000
The Audi R8 was stolen from a Mereweather home, in Newcastle, on December 20 (stock image)
When they refuse, he drives down the road, rips a u-turn, then races back towards them, forcing the group to jump on to the kerb out of the Audi’s path.
The car continues its thrill ride through Newcastle, charging through red lights, bottoming out over gutters, and nearly crashing into other cars, before the driver pulls into a driveway to show off the vehicle to friends.
The man then takes the car to another property, opens a side gate, and drives it into a backyard.
Owners Luke and Bec, who only purchased the Audi three months ago, notified police immediately and were able to track down the vehicle using the help of the Facebook community.
Luke said he estimates the damage to is around $100,000.
‘He has absolutely messed this car up. [Going] 87km/h he has hit gutters on both sides. Up one then the other,’ he told 9News.
‘Imagine if he hit someone doing 120km/h through that stop sign.’
Three days later, police arrested Darren Johns, 49, at a house on Nooroo Close, Windale.
He was taken to Belmont Police Station and charged with car theft, reckless driving dangerous driving, driving while unlicensed, and breaking and entering a house to steal more than $60,000.
The driver pulled up next to a group of pedestrians and asked them to jump into the car for a ride
The car continued to speed through the city, dangerously violating road rules, and almost colliding with several other vehicles
Police will allege he committed several driving offences including crossing double white lines to overtake vehicles, driving on the wrong side of the road and speeding about 160km/hr in a 60km/hr zone.
He was refused bail to appear at Newcastle Local Court on December 24.
Newcastle Police commander Detective Superintendent Wayne Humphrey said the Johns’ horrendous driving was one of the worst examples of dangerous driving he had ever seen.
‘It is dangerous driving at an extreme level – speeding through residential areas and stop signs, over pedestrian crossings,’ he said.
‘Travelling in excess of 160 km/hr in built up areas, overtaking other motorists across double unbroken lines, and crossing to the wrong side of the road.
‘This manner of driving puts dozens of lives at risk.’
Darren Johns (pictured), 49, was arrested three days later and is facing several charges in relation to the incident