A woman waiting in a car while her husband paid for petrol at
a central Whangarei service station had to fight off a man
who got in the driver's seat and tried to drive away.
The attempted carjacking, at BP Wylies, on Maunu Rd, about
2pm on Monday, has left the 32-year-old shaken and
questioning her positive impression of Whangarei. She also
issued a warning for people to lock their cars at petrol
stations even if there was someone in it - a warning echoed
The woman and her husband did not call the police as they
thought staff at the service station were going to contact
them and hand over security camera footage.
The gravity of the incident was still sinking in yesterday as
the woman, who did not want to be identified, recounted the
events. The couple had been on their way to Auckland and had
stopped to fill up with petrol.
"I was in the car and playing with my phone as my husband
went in to pay for the fuel," she said.
"Suddenly I noticed someone opening the door in a really rude
way and I asked them was was wrong. I realised he was a total
The man, she described as Maori and wearing a red jacket with
the hood pulled around his head, forced his way into the
driver's seat and began searching for the keys in the
"It all happened very quickly and he had his bum in the seat
and tried to shut the door. I was yelling at him and trying
to kick him."
She said the man may not have realised she was in the car. He
ran off over Maunu Rd and down a side street.
"I feel horrified I would not expect this in the middle of
the day in Whangarei. Honestly before this I thought I was
pretty safe in Whangarei, but I couldn't sleep last night
after this. Most of the time we lock the car if we are paying
for fuel. This time we thought it would be ok with me still
in the car. I'm just wondering what would have happened if
there was a child in the car."
A manager at the BP station was not able to confirm if the
incident had been reported to police and declined to comment
- By Kristin Edge, Northern