Offers of help and kind messages have poured in for a Northland man whose credit card was stolen from a car while he was being resuscitated on the side of the road after a crash in Tauranga.
Andrew Mckenzie remains in Tauranga Hospital recovering, but his family have been heartened by the messages of support after today’s Bay of Plenty Times story about their ordeal.
Andrew and wife Marion towed their caravan from Waipu to Tauranga on Friday.
Daughter Nicole Jennings said her dad was driving on Monday when her mum realised the vehicle was veering towards the concrete median. Marion saw Andrew was blue, limp and had stopped breathing.
She grabbed the wheel, steered the car off the road and stopped it with the handbrake, then gave him CPR on the roadside until paramedics took over, Nicole said.
“Somewhere in amongst all that time while he was being resuscitated someone went into their car.”
“They picked through their things and took mum’s wallet out of her bag and took dad’s credit cards out of his phone wallet and left his phone,” she said.
A few hours after the crash, the bank contacted her mum about unusual activity on the couple’s credit card. That was when Marion discovered it was gone, with her wallet.
Nicole said about $600 had been siphoned from their accounts and spent at places including a vape shop and service station.
She said she was “disgusted”, describing the theft as “despicable behaviour”.
“I mean you never know what someone’s circumstances are.
“But it should never be that bad when you’re stealing from the vulnerable and potentially someone who is on the side of their road and could lose their life. How is that ok?”
On Thursday, Nicole said her dad was keeping his spirits up in the cardiac care unit but it was unlikely he would be out of hospital by Monday.
“Overall, we are just grateful dad is doing well. He is still making jokes and being cheeky. But the frustration and worry is still there and we are trying to remain positive.”
Her mum was still in shock and hoped to report the theft to police this week. She had organised to stay with friends to save on the expense of a hotel.
Nicole said the gestures of kindness people had shown towards her family were “just lovely”.
Tony Benson has offered to collect the Mckenzie’s caravan and drop it at Waipu because he felt obliged to help, he said.
“This is an everyday Kiwi family enjoying life and all of a sudden, it’s turned on its head with an unexpected event. I can’t believe there are people out there who would do this.
“I can only imagine what this family is going through and the stresses.”
David Hay had reached out to the Mckenzies to offer a week’s free stay at Pakiri Beach Holiday Park, just south of Waipu, in their caravan in February or March.
He told the Bay of Plenty Times it “was a pretty lousy thing that happened to them”.
“It’s very easy for them to lose faith in society. I thought it would be a nice gesture to reach out and say, hey, when the dust has settled they can toddle down to Pakiri and take their caravan and enjoy themselves.”
A police spokesperson said in general, items being stolen from vehicles involved in accidents where the occupants are in the vehicle was typically quite rare.
Carmen Hall is a news director for the Bay of Plenty Times and Rotorua Daily Post, covering business and general news. She has been a Voyager Media Awards winner and a journalist for 25 years.