Queenstown police warn tourists to be on their guard after a hotel prowler struck twice overnight on Monday.
Sometime between midnight and 9am, the sneak thief entered a room at the Central Ridge Boutique Hotel in Sydney Street via an unsecured patio door, swiping a handbag and jewellery bag while guests were asleep.
The same night, an Acer laptop computer plus a handbag, wallet and cash were taken from a room at the nearby Copthorne Hotel.
“This was brazen offending and is almost certainly the work of the same person,” local constable Sean Drader says. “Visitors are advised to secure their rooms at all times, because this is the sort of thing that can happen at this time of the year when traditionally there is an increase in break-ins at hotels and residential properties.”
Fishing equipment was nicked from two different boats in Queenstown Bay on Monday.
A dinghy was stolen overnight and used to reach another vessel moored off The Gardens, where several lures were taken.
At about midnight, 20 luminous pink lures were also nicked from a fishing guide’s craft tied up at a lakefront wharf.
“At this stage, we don’t know if the two incidents are linked but it would seem likely they are,” Drader observes.
Outdoor haul discovered
A skydiving instructor searching for a stolen parachute stumbled across three large, flat-screen TV sets in bush near the Devil’s Staircase on the Kingston road.
The Australian man, who lives in Queenstown, had earlier returned to his car after hiking last Friday to discover it broken into and his $5000 parachute missing – along with other personal items including an iPod, wallet and watch.
“The man later found the parachute in some scrub where he also came across the TV sets,” Drader explains. “It was a strange haul to find in the middle of nowhere.
“Two of the TVs have similar serial numbers and it’s possible they were stolen from a shop and dumped when the thief thought they were too hot to handle and didn’t know how to dispose of them.”
More thieves on prowl
A 25-year-old Englishman living in Queenstown was charged with unlawfully being in a building and theft, after being caught sticking his head through a window at the Pounamu Apartments in the early hours of Tuesday.
“When he was arrested, the offender was found to have something in his pocket that didn’t belong to him,” Drader says. “As a result, we are still following up whatever else he may have been up to.”
Cops are also still on the lookout for a thief who nicked two white surfboards padlocked to the roof of a car parked off Stanley St overnight on New Year’s Day.
“About the same time, a white dinghy that was chained up in nearby Park St was also stolen – the two incidents don’t look like a coincidence,” Drader adds.