Parking warden hangs on as pair flee

SAM BOYER
Last updated 06:31 11/03/2013

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A parking warden writing a ticket for an alleged getaway car managed to halt two suspected thieves - but not before he was dragged down the road by the fleeing vehicle.

The 21-year-old warden was writing up an infringement notice on a badly parked car outside Harvey Norman in central Wellington about 2pm yesterday when two people ran out of the store followed by staff.

Police say the pair had stolen two mobile phones.

As the alleged offenders took off south along Tory St, the warden leaned in through the passenger window and tried to pull the car's handbrake and open the door.

He was dragged about 30 metres, until the vehicle was slowed by Sunday afternoon traffic.

The warden and a Harvey Norman staff member then held the alleged offenders until police arrived.

Sergeant John Lewis, of Wellington Central police, said members of the public inside the store alerted staff who then followed the alleged thieves.

"The parking warden at this stage was looking at their illegally parked car and [became] aware that [they] were involved in some sort of incident.

"Somehow he reached in to try to open the door. He hung on, and that was an instinctive thing. He was dragged maybe a short distance of 30 metres, as the offending male drove."

The warden suffered a 15 centimetre gash to his forearm and was taken by ambulance to Wellington Hospital for treatment.

"The parking warden has broken the window . . . he needed some stitches to some lacerations to his arm. It's fortunate he wasn't hurt more seriously," Lewis said.

A spokesman for the warden's employer, ADT Armourguard, said the incident would be investigated.

"We have a zero-harm policy for our staff, so we take these incidents quite seriously.

"We need to sit down and talk with the person involved and talk through what happened."

Parking wardens are contracted to Wellington City Council.

Following the incident police arrested a 46-year-old male and 27-year-old female.

They were charged with theft and minor drug offences, with the man also charged with dangerous driving causing injury. They will appear in court this week.

Lewis thanked the efforts of the parking warden and members of the public.

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- The Dominion Post

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