Saturday, 4 April 2009


Today we got our car back. The story started on the 25th of February when our car was allegedly stolen by a man with Mongrel mob connections called Customline Ford, from the Masterton Railway Station. He is the son of one of Wairarapa’s own, Little Man Ford. The name is not their original name. It was changed by deed poll to reflect the family’s love of Ford cars. Little Man is dead.

We had been leaving the car at the station from Monday to Friday, as we thought that a 18 year old faded green Ford Station wagon might not have had much attraction to any would be car thief. When we discovered the car was stolen we asked for some assistance from the train drivers. They were very helpful. They gave us the number of the local police and the number of the person in Wellington who administered the security cameras.

We rang the police , gave them all the details and they said they would post out an event number. They said that they could not email the event number that it could only be posted.

We dealt with Constable A. In the meantime the Aussie Rock, (my partner) got hold of the security guy and the next day we got our first break. The security footage clearly showed the thief. However he said he could not release it until he was asked to by the police. We rang the police back and told them that the security footage. Constable A said she would sort it out and get the footage. A week went by and we heard nothing . We rang again. We were told Constable A was not there and were put on to Constable B she picked up the file and then a couple of days later informed us they recognised the thief. She alledged his name was Customline and they were looking for him. He was very well known to them.

Anyway a couple of days later we got a notice from Land Transport that the car had changed ownership. The Rock checked with LTNZ and discovered that the car had indeed been reregistered a day after it was stolen. They would not tell us who it was, unless we went into the office and again said that they would release that information to the police. We rang the police and told them of the new development and they rang back to say that the car had been reregistered to someone at a Lower Hutt address who was also well known to them. They then informed us that the file was on its way to Lower Hutt - it took a couple of days to be transferred to the Lower Hutt CIB.

We were informed that the police were already keeping an eye on the property as it was in the Farmers Cres area, which was a MOB enclave and some of the residents had been issued with eviction notices from the Housing corporation. We were told that once they spotted the car they would have to get some reinforcements to take the car back because it was not something that one of two police could do on their own considering the tensions around the evictions.

Another week passed. We called into the Masterton Police Station and talked to Constable B where she reiterated that as yet they had not sighted the car. I asked her how likely it was that we would sse the car again. She did not rate our chances highly , explaining that normally when cars like ours were stolen they ended up in a Chop Shop within a few days or they were moved around all round the country. I suggested that I knew someone with strong Mob connections and that I was sure he could track the car down. She said that could be worth considering.

That night The Rock arrived home with two things - the name of the person the car was registered to – Barry Kahui and a newspaper story about Kahui who was on home invasion charges. And was appearing Thursday 2nd April.

I rang my mate. Within hours he had talked to Barry who reckoned that the car had been sold to him as a repo and he had spent $1300 on it. He wanted some compensation for the money he had spent on the Mag wheels and a few other things. We resisted.

Our friend genuinely believed that this guy had been told some bullshit by the Customline. It was akin to your cousin ripping you off.

Anyway he gave the cellphone number of Barry and we texted him.

Then over the next two days there was an extraordinary dialogue as we came to an agreement about the car. As soon as he realised that the car was hot and we could prove it was hot and the police knew, Barry wanted shot of it. He had bought it to transport his 6 kids. He had put Mag wheels on it. And put speakers in it.

I was ready to call it quits. Years of dealing with gang members means that I know how difficult and dangerous it can be getting to a point of resolution. However the Rock is a stubborn bugger and wanted to follow through – so he talked to Barry direct. Soon they came to an understanding. The car was in a car park in Farmers crescent with the wheels off. We could pick it up. But the deal was that once we put wheels back on it could be driven away.

So yesterday the Rock and a mate went to Farmers crescent. The car was now missing a new battery. they went and got new rims and tyres and put them on, only to find the fuel line had been cut. So it was towed to a garage and its being repaired. Now while they spent an hour getting the car sorted , the Rock got to know the Mob, who were in full regalia. Some came up and yarned. They wanted to know what he owned. They were trying to work out why he wanted his old banger back. It was simple, the car has family history and has been around for a long time. He was pretty annoyed that the deal that the car be in drivable condition, was not kept. But Barry had put the car in the car park on the Wednesday night so who knows who stole the battery.

The Rock says he saw a mother and a father who cared for there children , who looked after them with affection and concern as they played on the asphalt. While I reminded him that all he saw was a snapshot – he said he knew that, but he also knew good parenting when he saw it. He talked to some Mobsters who were bemused that this quiet man would go to such lengths to get an old car with no wheels back.He quietly informed them that he had come to get the car because it was his.

A copper arrived minutes after the Rock had towed the car away. They rang me to say that Barry had told them we had collected the car. Her sounded surprised that we had repossessed it.He informed me they were there to get it back.

Bit late I said, not without a trace of sarcasm.

I also asked the copper, if it was true, as Barry had said, that the police had seen him drive the car during the past three weeks and had done nothing , the copper said to his knowledge that was not the case.

So whats the upshot?

Well, Customline is likely to be in for a bit of grief. The Lower Hutt Mob made it very clear that they felt they had been ripped off.

The police while helpful at all times have very crap processes. If someone deals with a file it seems no-one else knows what the details are.

And someone needs to do something about the interface between the police and LTNZ. We do feel let down by the police process but not by the police.

Anyway we will be requesting the entire file from the police to see what decisions were made and when. We aren’t out to get any individuals because they have treated us with respect the whole way through.

But we are following through because, you see, this didn’t pass the granny test. That’s the test you apply that means if you were a granny what would happen. If it was a granny instead of the Aussie Rock, she would have never seen her car again. And the mongrel mob would have learned that crime does pay and has no consequences.

And that does not do our society any favours.

So what happens now? Well we have the car back and its going to a new home and in a cul de sac in Lower Hutt, life goes on.


alastair said...

Great yarn Tina. You are very well connected.

LAMBCUT said...

Mr Kahui had no business insisting on compensation for changes he made to the car. Changing someone elses property, without legal authority, constitutes the tort of conversion. (Not to be confused with the crime of car conversion). The tort of conversion does not require any element of dishonesty and often occurs in situations such as this one. Conversion does require that there is voluntarily dealing with a peice of property in a way that is inconsistant with the owner's rights. That is what Mr Kahui did when he altered the Rock's car.

LAMBCUT said...

Mr Kahui's cause of action for compensation for the mags and any other valuable changes should be against Customline.

Inventory2 said...

Bottom line BB - the Police have no interest in further stirring up the hornets nest which is Farmer Crescent. They were relying on you to cut your losses and flag it away. If we ever needed proof that anarchy reigns in New Zealand, and that our police force has become timid and impotent, beginning at the top, you have provided it

Mayzie said...

Well done Mr Rock!
Perhaps you could volunteer your services to assist other theft recoveries..perhaps the Maersk Alabama?