April 1, 2008 / 3:16 AM / 11 years ago

He says he's a cop, but he isn't wearing a badge!

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A policeman in a small New Zealand town did not let the fact that he was naked hold him back from chasing a thief trying to steal his car.

The off-duty constable was asleep at his home in Balclutha, in the lower South Island, when his wife woke him in the early hours, the New Zealand Press Association reported.

When the policeman realized the sound his wife heard was someone attempting to start the couple’s car, he didn’t let the fact he was stark naked hold him back, bursting out the door with nothing more than a torch.

The offender bolted with the officer in hot pursuit, NZPA reported, but was soon after picked up by a police patrol.

“The offender...startled by the sight of a naked constable with just a torch coming towards him, took off,” local police were quoted as saying.

Reporting by Adrian Bathgate; Editing by David Fox

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