Being stark naked wasn't going to stop Constable Tom Taylor getting his man. The off-duty policeman was peacefully sleeping naked when he was woken by his wife, Christine, who had heard someone outside trying to steal her Ford Laser car.
Mr Taylor grabbed a torch and ran outside to catch the thief.
The intruder got the shock of his life when he discovered the person chasing him was, in Mr Taylor's words, "an angry naked man".
According to the Ten-One police magazine, Mr Taylor "vaulted from his bed, completely starkers".
He took off outside to grab the offender, who had only managed to roll the car a short distance out of the carport.
"The offender bolted with the officer in hot pursuit, torch in hand," said the Ten-One report.
In the meantime, Mrs Taylor, "who was more suitably attired", came out to help.
The offender ran around a corner, straight into her and she grabbed him by the collar.
Mr Taylor, wearing only a stern look on his face, ordered the man to the ground, but when the offender saw the policeman, he ran off.
The next morning, Mrs Taylor spotted the man hitch-hiking just north of Balclutha and police arrested him.
Yesterday, a fully clothed Mr Taylor said it was the first time in his 11-year police career he had been called to the job "sans clothes" and he hoped he would not be in a position to repeat the effort in the future.
"If nothing else, it gave the guy one hell of a fright," he laughed.
A 25-year-old Christchurch man has twice failed to appear in the Christchurch District Court on an attempted theft charge.
- OTAGO DAILY TIMES