Gun pulled on off-duty top cop

Last updated 06:31 12/03/2014
Sandra Manderson
TOP COP: Sandra Manderson says she's run in high heels before.

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It's probably the last thing a man expected as he snatched a handful of gold bracelets from Lambton Quay jewellery store.

The pencil-skirted shopper he'd interrupted was Wellington's top-ranked female police officer, who promptly threw down her handbag and chased him down the street.

"I was screaming at the top of my voice: 'Stop that man, he's a thief"," said Superintendent Sandra Manderson, who is also a judo black belt.

Her screams drew the attention of a crowd who followed the alleged thief to his car, parked in Stout St. He hopped in as Manderson and another person flung open the passenger door.

The man allegedly put his hand on a gun on the passenger seat and wordlessly looked her in the eye.

Putting safety first, she retreated, Manderson said yesterday.

It's not the first time she has turned crime-fighter while off-duty: "Believe me, I've had to run in high heels before."

Fortunately on Monday evening she was wearing flats - but also a pencil skirt.

"It was a nice day for a skirt," she said.

"It wasn't too tight. I could run in it."

Manderson was the first woman in New Zealand to hold the rank of superintendent. She is now operation commander for Wellington's involvement in the 2015 Cricket World Cup and Fifa Under-20 football World Cup. 


A man aged in his 20s was arrested last night in relation to the robbery, police said

It was not yet clear what charges he would face.

The arrest, in Porirua, came after a "keen-eyed" petrol station forecourt attendant called police after he spotted a car police had put out a search bulletin for.

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- The Dominion Post

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