A New Zealand man who tried to run off with a collection bucket at a tsunami appeal cricket match was jumped on by other spectators before he could
Witnesses said the man tried to steal the contents of the collection bucket when it was passed to him during the match at Jade Stadium today between
New Zealand and a World XI captained by Shane Warne.
But good Samaritans in the crowd caught him and held him until police and security guards arrived. Police said the man, a 31-year-old Caucasian
scaffolder, was charged with theft of property belonging to World Vision. He will also face charges of resisting arrest when he appears in
Christchurch District Court on January 28.
"He was affected by alcohol, naturally," a police spokesman told AAP.
"He'll stay with us for some time to think about his life and ruminate about his stupidity."
The man was one of five people arrested during the match held to raise funds for victims of the Boxing Day tsunami. The others were charged with
"The world was watching, and New Zealanders were getting drunk and being stupid," the spokesman said.
New Zealand Cricket officials said the stolen money was retrieved and added to the day's takings on behalf of World Vision.
"It is a regrettable incident, but New Zealand Cricket is happy with the way it has been dealt with," said match manager Tim Murdoch.
The game raised a total of $NZ506,233 ($471,111). With $NZ700,000 ($651,435) pledged before the match, the target of $NZ1 million ($A930,622) for the
three-match series has already been surpassed. Other games will be played in Wellington on Monday and Hamilton on Wednesday. The money will be added
to the $15 million raised during a match between a World XI and an Asian XI in Melbourne on January 10.