Does anything sensible go through the mind of a young person who breaks into a car and decides to take it on what is, euphemistically, labeled a joy ride?

I would expect there would be the initial challenge of "can I get into this vehicle?".

The danger and excitement of the fear of being caught would also give the miscreant a buzz of adrenalin.

Often the young person will have an accomplice - usually younger - and no doubt there would be an unspoken pressure to finish the crime and actually drive off in the car.


But what happens then to the obviously limited brains of some young people?

Note I use the term young people because it isn't always teenagers who are so idiotic.

Children, as young as 11, are being regularly nabbed in South Auckland for stealing cars. Some of those only a matter of days after being caught doing the same thing.

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You can bet your bottom dollar this type of behaviour is occurring in other parts of this country - even the Bay.

Police in South Auckland say these delinquents are out at 3am and are "uncontrollable".

Clearly parental responsibility - and supervision of their brats - is a little bit of a problem.

In 2015, the Counties Manukau west area commander Inspector Jason Hewett said: "I've been in the police 24 years and I can't recall ever seeing so many kids at such a young age out at 3 o'clock in the morning in stolen cars."

Back to the lack of brain function with these young ratbags.

They've broken into the car, they have hot-wired it to start up and off they go with their almost-nil driving experience.

What are they thinking?

They clearly don't regard motor vehicles as being dangerous in inexperienced hands and think nothing of hooning about the streets at fast speeds without the ability to control the car.

Of course they stick out like my Wallabies gold jumper at an All Blacks test and the likelihood of blue and red lights flashing is extremely high.

So what do the truly stupid youngsters then do? They try to outrace police vehicles whose drivers are all trained in high-speed handling of their cars.

We all know how it finishes.

The police - due to a ridiculous protocol on pursuits that forces them to allow offenders to get away and endanger other motorists - back off and the stolen car hurtles on until the inevitable happens.

The thieves and associates have not taken enough notice at school to understand physics and the theory of momentum and so the driver loses control and ends up coming to a very sudden stop.

It is sad to think that often the last thing their brain will register is how a fence, or tree, or pole, or building, or another vehicle zooms up pretty fast.

Maybe they will just be left injured, in pain and bleeding badly, listening to the screams or moans of their little accomplices who may be fatally hurt.

It is sad ... but I can't feel sorry for them for they have brought it on themselves.

And it just keeps on happening.

In the past week there have been three young people killed as a result of their own stupidity by not pulling over in a stolen car when asked to by police.

What's the worst that can happen if they do?

They may get punished, although with the NZ court system, that is highly unlikely.

They certainly will get an earbashing - not necessarily from their parents - but from the police.

And that's about it.

Instead, the two joyriders on the weekend in Masterton probably suffered horribly in the remains of their car which crashed into a light pole.

One of the four onboard had to be cut from the wreckage - an experience I never want to have to go through (or even witness) - and then they were all rushed to hospital.

Two of them later died.

If they survive, hopefully the other pair will tell others what they went through and should be used by authorities to try to somehow reach idiot youngsters and get them to stop killing themselves on the roads.

And, in the process, stop traumatising the police, firefighters and ambulance crews who have to deal with the mess of broken flesh and dead young bodies.


Richard Moore is an award-winning Western Bay journalist and photographer.