Bizarre hi-jinx keep cops busy

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Drunken hi-jinx kept police busy with some run-of-the-mill – and some bizarre – petty crime this past week.

Police are studying CCTV images after a man set off fire alarms at a Queenstown bar with steam from bathroom taps.

Cowboys on Searle Lane was evacuated at 1.15am on Monday after the man blocked a sink with toilet paper and ran the hot water.

“The steam set off the smoke alarms,” senior constable Chris Blackford says.

A Dutch visitor who borrowed a plant from a Steamer Wharf bar for a photo opportunity was spoken to by police.

“He said he wanted to have his photo taken with it – just being silly so was given a pre-charge warning,” Blackford says.

Officers also stopped another man at the same time, 4.05am yesterday.

The second man was urinating into the lake from Earnslaw Park and was warned about his behaviour.

A 32-year-old English woman ran off from a taxi without paying on Fryer Street at 8.55pm on Saturday.

The taxi driver chased her, called police and arrangements were made for her to cough up the fare.

An amateur Aussie Rules footballer got in trouble with police after sneaking back into a backpackers he’d been chucked out of.

The 23-year-old, in town with his team, was found in Nomads on Saturday morning.

“He was part of a group of 15 who’d been thrown out the day before,” Blackford says.

“The man allegedly kept his key and returned to the room that night. 

“There were three women in the room who told him to leave but he gave them some excuse.” 

Driving stops

A Chinese man was forbidden from driving in New Zealand by police after complaints from members of the public.

Officers were called to the Crown Range Road at 6pm on Tuesday after reports of erratic driving, including excessive braking.

They spoke to a 42-year-old Chinese man and issued him with an on-the-spot driving ban.

“Clearly members of the public were concerned enough to call police who formed an opinion he was unable to safely operate a vehicle,” Blackford says.

Drink-driving

A 22-year-old Invercargill man was processed for drink-driving on Lake Esplanade shortly before 5am on Sunday.

The man allegedly provided a breath alcohol reading of 712 micrograms per litre of breath when tested. His licence was suspended and his car impounded.

Early that morning, shortly after midnight, a Brazilian man was processed for drink-driving.

Police officers randomly stopped his vehicle on Thompson Street.

The man blew 640mcg and his licence was suspended.

Both men will appear in Queenstown District Court in the coming weeks charged with driving with excess breath alcohol.

The legal limit is 400mcg.