Alleged thief 'didn't realise' car belonged to cops

A man arrested for stealing a police patrol car. Photo / BPT
A man arrested for stealing a police patrol car. Photo / BPT

A man arrested for stealing a police patrol car over the weekend has admitted he didn't realise what type of vehicle it was - despite its flashing light.

Waikato police prevention manager, inspector Paul Carpenter said the 34-year-old owned up to the Hamilton theft yesterday.

"The man has been interviewed by police and admitted taking the patrol car from a Mahoe St address about 7.15am on Saturday, and abandoning it at Hamilton's Lake Rotoroa," he said.

"Despite the car being a marked patrol vehicle and its flashing lights, the offender told officers he didn't realise it was a police car until he was driving it away and heard the police radio in use."

Mr Carpenter also praised the public for their help in tracking down the man. Several witnesses to a crash he had been involved in prior to his Saturday morning theft confirmed who he was, Mr Carpenter said.

Information obtained through Facebook also helped, he said.

A review into how the man gained access to the patrol car was underway.

- APNZ

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