Green’s Dictionary of Slang

fend off v.

[one fends off the object from its owner so that one may keep it oneself]

(N.Z.) to take, to steal.

[UK]Partridge DSUE.
[NZ]Press (Christchurch) (McNab Sl.) 2 Apr. 18: [In local criminal slang] [...] ‘to clout,’ ‘to pole,’ ‘to fend off’ are to steal [DNZE].
[NZ] (ref. to c.1932) McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 45/1: fend off to take or steal; c.1932.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].