Car crim caught

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Cops relieved by arrest after 31 vehicle break-ins.

Queenstown police believe a spate of car break-ins that plagued the resort recently has been solved after a man was arrested in Nelson.

Cops were baffled by 31 thefts from local vehicles in the past five weeks alone.

But items linked to some of the incidents were recovered when the 31-year-old was nicked in Nelson last Sunday.

“He was in a station wagon he’s alleged to have stolen in Invercargill,” says constable Sean Drader of Queenstown police.

“We suspect the man is responsible for some, if not all, of the recent car break-ins here.”

Firebug’s close call

Police are investigating an incident where someone tried to set fire to a silver Subaru Legacy at Arrow Lane in Arrowtown during the night of January 15.

The vehicle’s petrol flap was prised open, newspaper stuffed in the hole and someone then tried to light it.

“If it had gone up in flames, it would have been a very nasty blaze indeed,” says Drader.

Dog attacks girl

Police want to track the owner of a dog that bit a 10-year-old girl playing on a riverbank rope swing in Arrowtown.

The youngster was with her mum and brother when the incident happened on January 11. The dog bit her twice, leaving grazes and bruises to her leg and back.

“The owner did the right thing by immediately offering her details to the girl’s mother,” says Drader. “But at the time she was too upset to take them down.

“The dog is a black labrador cross with a woolly, shaggy coat and we have a good description of the person and her car.”

Drader adds: “I hope the woman now comes forward and speaks to us.”

Handbag thief potted

An Asian woman working in Queenstown has been charged with theft after being pictured in Crime Stoppers two weeks ago.

The 27-year-old was caught on surveillance cameras swiping a handbag from a shopping trolley at Frankton’s New World supermarket on December 30.

The bag, belonging to a visitor from Invercargill, was later recovered in the store’s toilets with $120 in cash missing.

“Quite a lot of people recognised her from her picture,” says Drader.

Bad break for brawlers

Two local males were nabbed after fighting at the Frankton Arm Tavern on January 15.

Both men – aged 55 and 41 – were arrested for assault, one for assault with a weapon. “One hit the other with a pool cue,” comments Drader.

Dinghy ahoy

A Park Street resident became suspicious after being woken by banging noises and voices at 3.50am last Sunday.

He went outside to discover his dinghy was gone, before seeing the culprits rowing it across the lake towards Kelvin Heights.

“The man shone his torch out and spotted two or three people in his dinghy paddling away like mad,” says Drader. “It was later recovered near the Wakatipu Yacht Club.”

Drader adds: “We’re still looking for the individuals who did this. Maybe they thought taking a taxi was too expensive.”