'Crazy woman' on bonnet saves fairy lights

An Australian woman who clung to a speeding car to retrieve stolen fairy lights says the thieves were 'scared of the crazy woman on the bonnet'. Marissa Clausen was watching TV in Humpty Doo in the Northern Territory at about 11.45pm on Tuesday when she heard the loud engine of a "bombed-out little white hatchback" with P-plates outside her house.

"I thought: 'What's happening?' and saw three teenagers taking off with the fairy lights," the 30-year-old said. The $25, 20-metre long, solar-powered, multi-coloured LED decorations had been draped along the front fence and there was no way that Ms Clausen was letting them ruin her Christmas. "I ran up and said a few colourful words and stood in front of the car," the educator said.

"They gave me a nudge on my right thigh with the front bumper and I jumped - not jumped, placed myself - on the bonnet. And then they took off with me on the bonnet. You wouldn't think they'd drive off." Ms Clausen said she would have kept her feet on the ground if she knew they were going to drive off. She held on by digging her fingers in the narrow slot between the bonnet hatch and the car body under the windscreen. "They were trying to shake me off by swerving," she said.

"They were saying: 'Get off the car'. As if I was going to get off - they were driving at 60 or 70km/h." She banged her right heel off the gravel in the ordeal but was otherwise uninjured. The thieves, two girls - one driving - and a boy aged between 13 and 17, then threw the fairy lights out the window and stopped to let Ms Clausen climb off the car - before speeding away and switching off their headlamps. She turned off the fairy lights to avoid detection and walked back to wait on the veranda. "I think they were scared of the crazy woman on the bonnet," she said.