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Kieran gets tough on crime

By Emily Norman

[email protected]

A former candidate for the Labour Party literally got tough on crime this week in Masterton as he wrestled a would-be car thief to the ground.

The alleged thief got more than he bargained for when he tried to get away with Kieran McAnulty’s red ute on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr McAnulty, Wairarapa’s Labour Party chairman, was on his way to a meeting just after 2pm on Tuesday when he caught the man attempting to steal his “beloved” car in Perry St, Masterton.

“I put my key in the lock and turned it and thought, that’s funny, it’s already unlocked,” he said.

“I looked up and saw a bloke in the front seat trying to jimmy the ignition.”

Mr McAnulty said his immediate reaction was to take a step back and think, “Oh shivers I’ve got the wrong car here”.

“When I realised I didn’t have the wrong car I opened the door and politely enquired as to why he was in my ute – I may have used some choice words.”

Mr McAnulty said the man who was stealing the ute had tried to run away – “and so we ended up in a bit of a scuffle in the middle of the street”.

“All these old ladies driving down Perry St had to stop while we were there ruffling around in the middle of the road.

“I’m all a bit embarrassed about it really but it’s quite nice to be able to explain to those people who saw me why I was actually doing it.”

Two men had come to Mr McAnulty’s aid once he had wrestled the man to the ground so he could call the police.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

“It’s amazing timing really when you consider if I was two minutes later the ute would have been gone.”

He said the ute was “really old and pretty rough, but it’s my little ute and I love it”.

“I wasn’t going to let that guy try to take it.”

Acting Senior Sergeant Richie Day confirmed the a man in his late 20s from Levin had been arrested at the scene.

He appeared in court yesterday and was remanded in custody on a charge of unlawfully interfering with a motor vehicle.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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