Man accused of theft while driver given CPR

The man suffered a medical event while driving in heavy traffic on Te Awanui Drive near the...
The man suffered a medical event while driving in heavy traffic on Te Awanui Drive near the Tauranga Harbour Bridge. Photo: NZ Herald
Tauranga police have arrested a person who allegedly stole a woman’s purse and bank cards while her husband was being resuscitated on the side of the road.

Andrew Mckenzie was driving in heavy traffic down Te Awanui Drive, near the Harbour Bridge, on November 27 when his wife Marion in the passenger seat realised the vehicle was veering towards the concrete median barrier.

Marion saw Andrew was blue, limp and had stopped breathing.

She grabbed the wheel, steered the car off the road and stopped it with the handbrake, then gave him CPR on the roadside until paramedics took over, their daughter Nicole Jennings told the Bay of Plenty Times.

Mckenzie was taken to Tauranga Hospital for further treatment, while Marion was driven there by a police officer.

On the way to the hospital, she discovered that her purse was missing.

When she returned to her vehicle later, she saw that her husband’s bank cards had been removed from his phone case.

“Somewhere in amongst all that time while he was being resuscitated someone went into their car,” Jennings said.

“They picked through their things and took mum’s wallet out of her bag and took dad’s credit cards out of his phone wallet and left his phone.”

Calls to their bank confirmed both cards taken from her purse and her husband’s phone case had been used at various retail outlets in the area.

Police today said a 40-year-old man, matching the description of one of the people who had stopped to assist during the event, has been arrested and charged with theft and using a stolen card.

He was due to appear in Tauranga District Court on December 11.