News in briefs: Underwear-clad car owner foils theft in -17C weather

Snow covers cars parked along a street in Oslo in December.
Snow covers cars parked along a street in Oslo in December. PHOTO: AFP

OSLO (AFP) - A car thief in Norway got more than he bargained with when the vehicle's owner, dressed only in his underwear, clung heroically to the vehicle's roof in temperatures of -17C (one degree Fahrenheit) to foil the theft.

In a scene worthy of a Hollywood movie, the 25-year-old was woken on Tuesday night by the unwelcome sound of his car's engine starting up, police reported.

Without stopping to dress, he dashed out into the snow, grabbed the car door handle and managed to clamber onto the roof, where he clung on for several kilometres as the car travelled at up to 90 kilometres per hour.

He then smashed the back window with his knee and grappled with the thief before the car slid into a safety barrier on a bridge and came to halt.

"Bruce Willis wouldn't have managed that," commented Jan Nesland, police chief in Randesund, a town in southern Norway where the incident took place.

"It's not what we advise people to do but now he's done it, it's really an incredible story," he told the television channel TV2.

Police are questioning the thief, who was reportedly already known to the authorities for other robberies.

The car owner, whose name has been withheld, received hospital treatment for cuts and scrapes to the knees and legs - not to mention the cold.