Finally cleaned up


Early riser nabs smash-and-grab burglar.

A serial smash-and-grab burglar was caught in the act by a street cleaner on March 14.

The cleaner saw a man smashing the front window of Wilkinson’s Pharmacy in The Mall at 5.30am and rang Queenstown police.

Acting senior sergeant Keith Newell says when cops turned up they found a 23-year-old Queenstown builder running away and took chase.

“He was tackled to the ground and had a bag of about $3000 worth of digital cameras on him,” says Newell.

The man, originally from South­land, has been charged with the break-in on Saturday morning and four other burglaries – including the theft of a $10,000 jade statue from the Jade Factory on Beach St on February 21. In each of the five cases, the offender has smashed shopfront windows with a tool, nicked items on display and scarpered.

He’s also been charged with attempted burglary, resisting arrest, escaping custody, possession of burglary tools and possession of cannabis.

Drive-off domestic

A 34-year-old man left his 33-year-old wife stranded at a service station loo at 1am on March 8.

The Alexandra-based pair got into an argument after drinking in Queenstown then made a pit stop at the BP service station in Frankton on the drive home.

“She wanted to go to the toilet at the BP and he thought, ‘that’s enough’ and drove home,” says Newell. “That was his way of finishing the argument – he just left her there, she had no money.”

A taxi driver took pity on the woman and took her to the police station, and the Wakatipu Abuse Prevention Network gave her accommodation for the night.

Korean clash

A 25-year-old Korean man has been nabbed for assaulting a 39-year-old Queenstown-based Korean man at 1.15am on March 10.

The man and an unidentified woman – who both live in Queens­town – punched the victim to the ground in front of the Slice pizza outlet on Shotover Street, Newell says.

“She’s put the boot in while he’s been down on the ground,” Newell says.

It’s raining eggs

A visiting American couple in their thirties was pelted with an egg while walking on Shotover St on March 13.

“A black, souped-up car pulled up beside [them] and an egg was thrown, hitting his wife on the legs,” says Newell.

The man was “disgusted” and complained at the cop shop at 10am the next day.

Beacon alert

An emergency locator beacon sparked an aerial search on March 13 – but the alarm was triggered by a pile of rubbish.

Queenstown police got a call from the New Zealand Rescue Coordination Centre in Wellington at 5pm saying a beacon had been set off in town.

After searching the airport area by helicopter, they traced the signal to the Wakatipu Recycling Centre and used a digger to unearth the beacon under tonnes of litter.

People need to bring expired emergency beacons to the police station, Newell says.


An 18-year-old Queenstown man received serious head injuries after his motorbike collided with a truck under the Shotover Bridge at 3pm on March 14.

He was taken to Dunedin Hospital with a fractured skull and broken jaw, and police are investigating the accident.

A 28-year-old Queenstown man crashed into a car parked on Mcdonnell Road in Arrowtown at 9.30pm on March 14. He has been charged with careless driving and drink driving.