Every neighbourhood needs a guy like Don Dalrymple.
When push comes to shove, he’s prepared to put his body on the line – even at 83.
About 3pm on Friday, Mr Dalrymple went out to the gate to check his letterbox when he heard his neighbour’s burglar alarm ringing from across the street.
“I wandered along my side of the road and looked down the driveway. You could see the garage door was open,” said Mr Dalrymple, who is a Christchurch South Community Patrol member.
“The alarm was absolutely deafening and I thought something’s not right.”
That’s when a man riding a mountain bike and holding another came down the driveway.
“I didn’t get a good look at him, he had something over his face so you couldn’t see what he looked like.”
Adrenaline kicked in and without a second thought, the retired engineer decided to chase the man.
“I made a run at him to try and knock him off the bike, but I slipped over and ended up on the ground.”
In his younger years, Mr Dalrymple was a “skinny thing” who had been a runner.
“I’m 83 – I can’t run as fast as I used to. But I had to try and stop him.” Meanwhile, neighbours and a woman passing by stopped to help Mr Dalrymple who was on the ground bleeding.
“I had all the skin taken off my arm and knees, there was blood everywhere. But I said don’t worry about me, call 111 and get the police here,” he said.
“I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”
Police later caught a 27-year-old who has been charged with burglary and unlawfully being in an enclosed yard.
By chance an off-duty police officer recovered the bike, which the offender had discarded, Mr Dalrymple said.
He also warned people about buying and selling items online. The stolen bikes were for sale.