Police tried to stop a silver Citroen C4 on Saturday night, filled with four men, said Bolton North officers.
At around 10.30pm, the car drove off at high speed along Starkie Road in Tonge Moor and failed to stop.
It was later found abandoned in Pole Street in the middle of the road, engine still running.
Police found the car had no insurance — but while police officers were waiting for the car to be recovered, a man returned to the car asking to get his phone from the back seat.
It was revealed through police system checks that the man was wanted for theft of a vehicle from July 2019.
In a post on Facebook, Bolton North police said: “A check on police systems showed the vehicle had no insurance.
"Whilst the officer waited for it to be recovered, a male returned to the car asking to get his phone off the back seat.
"The male was checked on police systems and found to be wanted for a theft of a vehicle from July 2019.
"We now have one uninsured vehicle recovered and one wanted person arrested.”