When John Morris saw a burglar climb out of his neighbour's
home and run off down the street, he didn't think twice.
He took off after him, tackled the man and sat on him until
The Bay of Plenty Regional Council senior pollution
prevention officer had gone to his Riverton Rd home for lunch
yesterday, when he learned there was a would-be burglar
inside his neighbour's house.
While talking with his neighbour outside, another neighbour
showed up. Together, four men went to catch the offender in
Mr Morris headed to the rear of the property while the others
went to the front.
"Then the guy out the front said 'he's coming out the
window'. I didn't know which one, but I saw him jump out the
window and run off to the corner of Tay St and Riverton."
The man headed toward a woman walking her dog, who threatened
to let the animal loose if he did not stop.
"And he hesitated," Mr Morris said.
"That hesitation was just enough for me to catch up with him
and tackle him to the ground. There was nothing else to do."
Mr Morris then sat on the man, who was wearing socks on his
"I told him to stay on the ground and all he said was 'That
was a good tackle, bro'."
The other neighbours and the woman joined Mr Morris and
waited until police arrived.
He said the scenario was very much a "team effort".
Tauranga Senior Sergeant Cam Anderson said the four people
involved in the citizens' arrest were an ex-police officer,
an off-duty police officer and two neighbours.
"The obvious problem with these situations is the potential
dangers they could have faced. You never know what is going
"In this case they have done the right thing by calling us
and then, when the person tried to escape before police
arrived, there was sufficient people there to deal with the
The man was arrested at the scene, charged with burglary and
taken to Tauranga police station.
Mr Anderson said police inquiries were continuing.
"It's an ongoing inquiry. It appears there may have been more
than one house involved."
Mr Anderson said burglaries happened all year round
throughout the Western Bay and he advised people not to make
it easy for people to steal from them by leaving valuables
"There are specific areas where there are problems but I
don't want to divulge what we're doing or where it is. We've
got cars patrolling in these areas and tasks staff have to do
and, although we're trying to prevent crime, we're also
trying to catch them in the act."
- By Kiri Gillespie and Genevieve Helliwell of the Bay of