A Soviet soldier took an armored vehicle on a joy ride in Berlin, roaring down the posh Kurfuerstendamm boulevard and on to Potsdam before he was stopped, police said today.

Police chasing the tracked vehicle said the soldier damaged several cars and refused to halt late Sunday when they tried to flag him down. He also roared around roadblocks, police said. The joy ride lasted several hours.At one point, the soldier even sped the tanklike vehicle down Kurfuerstendamm, which bisects Berlin's shopping district, police said.

The soldier eventually ended up in Potsdam, just southwest of Berlin, where a Soviet sergeant who had joined police in the chase managed to halt the armored personnel carrier.

Potsdam police said the sergeant jumped onto the front of the vehicle and slammed shut the vision slit, forcing the soldier to halt.

Other Soviet soldiers had also been dispatched with heavy vehicles to try to end the wild drive, police said.

Police said the incident was under investigation and that the soldier was still being questioned. The soldier was not immediately identified.