Whatever else was said while a man stole her car on Monday,
Kaitaia woman Shona Hobson vividly recalls two words.
"Sorry, Miss," the thief said to her, moments before she
toppled out of the car and he drove off, running over her
legs as he did.
Ms Hobson is now at home, recovering from severe bruising,
but showing no sign of being cowed by her experience.
She was not one to be intimidated, she said. She loved her
home and her community and felt safe in both. No thief was
going to take that from her.
Ms Hobson would be visiting the man who took her car, too.
"He'll be sober then and I'll tell him that I did not
appreciate him coming into my home."
The drama began shortly after Ms Hobson began her daily
routine at around 6.15am.
Her brother, Shane Clark, told her someone was in her car
immediately outside the back door at her Matthews Ave house.
She had assumed it was a family member, and when she realised
it wasn't had leapt into the passenger's seat.
The thief, who had entered her house to get the keys, had the
car started by that time, and he was not going to be
deterred, even with Ms Hobson kneeling on the passenger's
seat, pulling the handbrake on and knocking the car out of
gear, and Mr Clark trying to pull him out via the driver's
Ms Hobson said she was still kneeling on the seat when the
thief offered his apology moments before he pushed her out
and on to the road. As he drove off the left rear wheel ran
over her legs.
A driver who stopped on the other side of the road was about
to bring her a jacket to cover her as she lay there, face
down in the street, while another motorist stopped traffic,
but a log truck driver was clearly in a hurry to get through.
He stopped, his front right wheel less than an arm's length
of her face, and asked Mr Clark to move her arm so he could
"He would have run over my arm if Shane hadn't lifted it up,"
Ms Hobson said.
"I think I said something you wouldn't want to print. You
just don't do that, do you?" She knew the driver, she added,
and would be speaking to him.
Ms Hobson, who works at Kaitaia Police Station in a civilian
role and was awarded the Queen's Service Medal in 2010 for
services to the police and community, said she had long
worked with people who were "challenged in a variety of
areas" so Monday's experience would not change the way she
lived her life.
She had nothing but praise for the police and Kaitaia
Hospital staff. "Everyone has been brilliant," she said, but
she did not recommend that anyone else follow her example.
"Take my advice. It's only a car, so let the thief have it,"
An 18-year-old man and four juveniles appeared before a
Justice of the Peace in the Kaitaia District Court on Monday
afternoon on charges arising from the taking of Ms Hobson's
car. The adult was remanded in custody to appear again on
Wednesday when he was expected to ask for bail. Two of the
juveniles were placed in the custody of CYF, and the other
two were bailed to family addresses.
- Peter Jackson of the Northern Advocate