Whether it’s newspapers or crimefighting, Daily News truck driver Charlene Munn really delivers.
The tabloid’s “Hometown Hero” helped the NYPD collar a would-be car thief when she invited two cops into her truck and joined the predawn pursuit of a fleeing suspect through Queens.
“I wasn’t nervous,” said gutsy grandmother Munn, 50. “I just told them to hang on.”
Two lefts and a quick right later, the cops collared Jean Oriol, 26, of the Bronx. Lt. Richard Mack, one of the arresting officers, said Munn deserved a commendation for her courage.
“We got in the Daily News truck and she chased him,” Mack said. “I would really like to acknowledge her in some way. She really didn’t have to do what she did.
“She really helped us out.”
Mack was coming home from the end of his shift around 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 24 when he spotted the oft-arrested Oriol at the driver’s side door of his neighbor’s white 2006 Sienna van.
Thinking the suspect was his neighbor, Mack walked over to say hello — but quickly realized the man in the white hoodie was trying to steal the car parked on 201st St. in Bayside.
“Police!” shouted Mack. “Don’t move!”
Oriol — with 10 prior arrests, including five this year — had a different idea: “No! I’m not going back to jail!”
Mack pulled his gun and grabbed the suspect, who immediately began throwing punches. As Mack tried to holster his weapon, the fight quickly escalated.