'I might be nearly 60, but I am not useless'

01:43, Jan 31 2009
PEICE OF CAKE: Raewyn Gardiner outside her bakery/restuarant in Levin where she held a robber at knife point before he produced a gun.

When feisty Levin baker Raewyn Gardiner turned up the heat on a gun-toting cake thief, he knew it was time to get out of the kitchen.

The 57-year-old grabbed him by the shirt and held a knife to his face after finding him with a handful of her cookies and cakes - tasty goods she says are "to die for".

The man sneaked into her Oxford St cafe about 2.15am yesterday, as she and her husband Joe were baking.

"Joe had him cornered but he tried to run so I grabbed him by his shirt front, wrestled with him, then held him quite securely with a knife in his face - I might be nearly 60 but I am not useless," Mrs Gardiner said.

She was clasping a 20-centimetre knife she was using to cut sandwiches.

"He had an armful of my fantastic cookies and cakes, but when I grabbed him and had my knife in his nose, he dropped them and left a clear footprint in one of my cakes, which really are to die for," she said.


Her husband said "let him go for Christ's sake" so she could call the police while he kept the man cornered.

But while she was ringing 111, he pulled a pistol from his clothing. "He showed Joe his gun and Joe showed him the door and let him go," she said.

Senior Sergeant Willie Roy said a dog unit found the firearm lying in a car park and a man was arrested a short time later. Mr Roy said that, though Mrs Gardiner's actions were brave, he would not recommend people approaching armed offenders.

A Levin man, 20, is due in Levin District Court charged with aggravated burglary.


The Dominion Post