Police in Lower Hutt captured a man who was overdue from prison, after he walked into a bar on Thursday evening and asked for a drink of water, declaring himself to be an escaped prisoner.
Acting Inspector Bruce McKay says the bemused barman called police, who discovered the vehicle the man was driving was stolen.
He was captured after fleeing when police chased the vehicle. It turned out he had not reported back from authorised leave and was supposed to be in prison.
The man is now in custody awaiting transfer there.