John Weekes is an NZME News Service reporter based in Wellington.

Mother punched as she confronts burglar

A Matamata mother of five confronted burglars in her house telling them where to go.
A Matamata mother of five confronted burglars in her house telling them where to go.

A mother of five who woke up on New Year's Day to find two burglars in her house says her first reaction was to tell the intruders to "f*** off".

The Matamata woman said she was at home at about 4.50am when she heard unusual noises and saw a strange man standing in her doorway.

The Matipo St resident said most people would have probably "just screamed and locked themselves in the room" but her first reaction was very different.

She asked the man "Who the f*** are you?" before telling him to get out of her house.
But as the intruder made his way out, swearing under his breath, the woman in her mid-thirties experienced more unpleasant surprises.

"I pretty much marched him out, locked the door behind him, and then found another guy there in the house."

The second burglar was trying to steal her laptop computer.

"He dropped it as soon as he saw me."

And as the burglars left, one decided to leave with a nasty parting gesture.

"He threw a couple of punches and one got me."

She said the the ordeal was scary, but was over quickly, even though one burglar "seemed quite casual" as he sauntered out the house.

The thieves also tried to steal a bicycle, the woman said, but failed.

"They got away with nothing."

The Matamata woman wasn't badly injured and said she was "so thankful" her children, aged from 7 months to 16 years old, weren't at home when the burglars entered.

She said she didn't know how she'd have reacted if her kids were in the house.
The mum went around checking her widows and doors after the attempted burglary.
She wasn't sure if the two men left on foot or in a car.

"I've never even had my house burgled ever," she said. "It was pretty scary."

The woman, who asked her name be withheld for safety reasons, said on a positive note, the experience had brought her and her neighbours closer together.

"They're all right. They're keeping a close eye on the house."

Police praised the woman's bravery in challenging the burglars but encouraged anyone finding themselves in a similar situation to be non-confrontational and alert police as soon as possible.

One of the men was described as a short, stocky Maori man and the other as a tall, skinny Maori.

The short man was thought to be between 28 and 36 years old, about 165cm (5ft 5) and wearing a black hoodie and blue jeans.

The taller man was described as about 185cm (6ft 1) tall, with a skinny build and aged about 25 years. He had a hunched gait, short hair at the sides, longer on top and possibly a rat's tail at the back.

He had a thin moustache and spoke with a soft voice, police said.
Police said anyone with information about the two men should phone Matamata Police on 07 8887117 or the independent Crime Stoppers organisation on 0800 555 111.

- NZ Herald

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