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Couple’s ute stolen from hospital

Corey Olson and Alex Barnett. PHOTO/ELI HILL

ELI HILL
[email protected]

Two soon-to-be parents had their ute stolen from the Wairarapa Hospital carpark while they waited for the birth of their baby.

On Monday, Alex Barnett and Corey Olson were in the maternity ward awaiting the birth of their boy Axel.

Barnett was 35 weeks pregnant and starting contractions while Olson had left work to be by her side.

Their Mazda Bounty ute, which they’d only bought 10 days ago, was parked in the hospital car park.

They both stayed the night in hospital and at about 8.30am on Tuesday morning when Olson went to get supplies, he found the ute was gone.

“I came back in and told Alex. I asked around to see if they towed it, it wasn’t’ towed,” Olson said.

“I rang the cops and filed a report and all that stuff. We’re still chasing up the security footage so hopefully they can see something.”

Inside the ute were some of their belongings including their new son’s capsule and car seats. They had only put new wheels on the ute on Saturday.

Olson had been meaning to arrange insurance for the car but hadn’t got around to it before it was stolen.

“It was our family car – our only car which is a bit of a pain.

“It’s been pretty stressful, but you can’t just sit around and stress about it, you’ve got to smile and get through it I guess.”

Olson said they’d had “heaps of support” from people sharing posts about the vehicle. Barnett’s sister Te Aroha Haami created a Givealittle page which by Wednesday night had received $800 in donations.

“I’m borrowing a mate’s car at the moment – she brought it up on her smoko break and I drove her back,” Olson said.

“My boss has been quite good about it – he said he’s going to free up one of the work utes that we can use for a bit. The support has been overwhelming – it’s great.”

There have been possible sightings of the ute, but nothing definite.

The ute is a lowered 2001 Mazda Bounty on 17-inch black steel rims, its licence plate number is ABQ441.

It was taken some time from 6pm on Monday to 8am on Tuesday.

Ute theft has become common in recent months.

In December last year, the Times-Age reported that Mazda Bounty and Ford Courier utes were being stolen across Wairarapa.

At the time, Senior Sergeant Shayne Nolan said 31 vehicles had been stolen in Wairarapa and the Hutt in 2019 [up to November 22], with utes in particular being targeted.

People with information on the family’s ute should contact the police using the non-emergency number 105 or crime stoppers on 0800 555 111.

The Givealittlepage for the couple can be found at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/young-mum-has-car-stolen-while-in-labour

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