Stealing a patrol car from under the nose of a police officer and taking it for a 10-minute joyride has landed the man responsible with a home detention sentence.
Kevin Matthew Baillie was arrested shortly after the police vehicle was stolen on November 9 last year, while a female officer was busy trying to make an arrest.
The summary of facts said that Baillie was walking with three people along St Aubyn St in New Plymouth about 4.30pm.
The group had been walking in the middle of the road and impeding traffic so police were called.
As one of the officers attempted to deal with a member of the group, Baillie walked out of view and hopped behind the wheel of the patrol car.
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When the female officer noticed Baillie was in the car, he locked the doors and took off at speed.
The defendant drove west on St Aubyn St and passed other motorists by travelling on the wrong side of the road.
Baillie continued to drive dangerously as he made his way through the Moturoa shopping centre, onto Breakwater Rd and then skidded around the corner into Ngāmotu Rd.
He drove to Marama Cres before dumping the police car in a vacant lot on Tumai St about 10 minutes after he stole it.
The defendant previously pleaded guilty to unlawfully taking the police patrol car, driving dangerously, driving while suspended and breaching a supervision order.
On Monday, Baillie appeared at his sentencing hearing, before Judge Jim Large, in the New Plymouth District Court.
He received a four and a half month term of home detention and was disqualified from driving for six months.