Chef gets prison grub

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Wanted man nabbed after police alert

Quick thinking by Queenstown cops snared a 25-year-old chef from Tauranga, wanted for a series of crimes around New Zealand.

The alleged offender was located staying at a backpackers in the resort at 6.25pm last Friday after police, tipped off he was in town, emailed pictures of him to hostels and hotels.

The man had outstanding arrest warrants for burglary, theft, unlawfully using documents and receiving stolen goods from incidents in Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Tauranga.

“One backpackers in Queenstown emailed us back to say they had refused to take him and another messaged to say he’d checked in earlier in the day and was there cooking his dinner,” constable Sean Drader says.

The man has allegedly been targeting people on his journey and befriending them before ripping them off.

“We were pleased to get hold of this individual before he did anything here,” Drader adds.

The chef has been remanded in custody.

Credit card fraudster

A 23-year-old Brazilian man working at a Queenstown pizza parlour was arrested last Sunday after allegedly using a credit card left behind by a female customer.

“The woman was visiting from Auckland and on August 16 had left her card behind on the shop counter,” Drader says. “Four hours later someone used it to withdraw $800 from her account at an ATM.

“She’d been suspicious of the man in the pizza place and thought he was trying to see what her pin number was.”
Drader adds the Brazilian – here on a work visa – is now “employed as a cleaner.”

Ski cheat on slippery slope

A 23-year-old Englishman was done last Sunday morning for trying to use a fake ski pass which he claimed he’d bought from a stranger for $300.

“He was trying to get on a shuttle bus at The Station building when the driver noticed there was something not right,” Drader says. “He was attempting to gain access to the skifields with documents that weren’t his.

“He said he knew it was a fake but he just wanted to go snowboarding.”

Hero bus driver

Cops want to speak to anyone who witnessed an incident in which the brakes of a bus failed while it was coming down Coronet Peak Road at 9.45pm last Friday.

There were 35 passengers on board when the brakes went.

“It could have been a catastrophe but apparently the driver did brilliantly to get the vehicle down in the dark without anyone being hurt,” Drader says. “We’d still like to hear from anyone who may have seen this.”

Shop window not a loo

Two Aussie males, 22 and 27, were busted for piddling in Shotover St at 4.05am last Wednesday. “They were using a shop window as a toilet,” Drader says.

A mobile phone and a computer monitor were nicked during a break-in at the Wakatipu Toy Library in Man St sometime on August 10-11.

“A door had been forced open,” Drader observes.

“Fortunately, no kiddies’ toys were taken – that would have been really low.”

Two Queenstown males, aged 20 and 29, were caught breaching bail conditions last Wednesday.

A 28-year-old American man had his car impounded when collared for driving while disqualified in Ballarat Street at 2.40am last Thursday.