Veteran broadcaster Paul Holmes has passed on some advice to one of the young men that stole his car three weeks ago: Stop stealing cars or you'll end up in prison.
The two men were in Hastings when they spotted Mr Holmes' $60,000 Jeep Cherokee parked outside a shop with the keys still in it. They stole it, their defence counsels said, because one of their mothers was sick with cancer in Taupo and they wanted to visit her.
This didn't sit well with Mr Holmes.
"This is bull**** and I don't accept that," he said.
"I never pinched a car to go and see my mother. I took a bus. The idea of pinching a car to visit a sick relative is preposterous and manipulative nonsense."
The two took off in Mr Holmes' car but their plan was compromised when they also made off with $151 of petrol from Gull Service Station on Taradale Rd.
They were caught not long after by police on the Napier-Taupo Rd.
Matthew Adam Jury, 19, was one of the two charged with theft and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle relating to the incident. He appeared in the Napier District Court yesterday with the support of his mother and grandmother, where he was sentenced to 100 hours' community work and ordered to pay reparations of $76.
"My advice to the boy is: See this as an opportunity to pull your life straight and the only life you're headed for if you keep pinching cars is a life in jail," Holmes said.
His co-offender, Zane Smiley Hodgson, 18, appeared on September 12 and received the same sentence. He was also disqualified from driving for six months.
Holmes also wanted to extend his well-wishes to Jury's mother and grandmother who were in court yesterday to support him.
"I'm pleased that he had family support and I hope that can turn him away from a life of crime."
Jury declined to comment.