The long legs of the law reached as far as Auckland’s Northcote on Friday, with a police officer spotted ditching his trousers in the pursuit of justice at Little Shoal Bay.
Aucklanders Yvonne and Rob Powley were going for their daily walk when they stumbled across the unusual scene.
First, Yvonne saw a ute being carried away by the tide, and then a group of police officers gathered on the beach.
“But then I spotted the really unusual thing – a little pile of police uniform on the sand,” she said.
In a scene reminiscent of comedian Leigh Hart’s ‘speedo cops’ sketch, a police officer had taken his trousers off to head out into the water to the ute.
“The poor thing, I bet he didn’t expect us to come around the corner and catch him in the act,” Yvonne said.
Describing the ute as “well and truly stuck in the mud”, she was told by a different police officer on scene that the driver of the vehicle had been caught out by the tide.
She thinks the officer was checking to see if there was anyone still in the car.
“He certainly went above and beyond the call of duty, it must have been freezing out there at that time,” she said.
A police spokesperson confirmed that a vehicle partially submerged in shallow water off Maritime Terrace in Northcote was reported at 7.03am on Friday.
Police attended and advised the vehicle was empty, but inquiries remained ongoing, the spokesperson said.
This is not, however, the first time something unusual has got stuck in the mud at Little Shoal Bay.
In 2019, a little yellow digger – itself hired to retrieve a 4×4 stuck on the beach in Auckland’s North Shore – also got stuck in the muddy water.
* This story originally appeared on Stuff.