Fraudsters face music

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Cops busy with spate of insurance scams

As winter draws to a close,police have been bagging a number of people trying it on with dodgy insurance claims.

A Japanese couple with an address in the resort was charged with making a false complaint after reporting a bag containing a laptop computer, a camera and a wallet was nicked from outside the public toilets at Earnslaw Park last Thursday.

“They were lying and both were arrested,” constable Sean Drader of Queenstown police says.

A 19-year-old Australian was done for the same offence last Saturday after insisting he’d had a snowboard stolen.

“He’d actually broken it and was having it repaired,” Drader says.

“It’s the end of the season and before some people go back home they decide they’ll make a nice little insurance claim, thinking it’ll be easy.

“We go out of our way to investigate these.”

Morning boozer nabbed

An eagle-eyed member of the public potted a drunk man who bought more booze from a Queenstown supermarket at 8.30am last Sunday before getting into his car and driving off.

The 22-year-old, from Invercargill, was subsequently done for drink-driving.

“Someone phoned us to let us know, which was a good piece of thinking,” Drader says.

“We can’t have people in that state out on the roads at any time, never mind first thing in the morning.”

Watch your bags

Sneak thieves prowling resort bars have switched from pinching coats to stealing bags in recent weeks.

An Australian visitor had her bag taken from the Pub on the Wharf at 11.15pm last Saturday.

The previous night, another female tourist was the victim of the same crime at Winnies.

However, police collared an 18-year-old Queenstown man after a bag and jacket were lifted from
Debajo at 3.15am last Saturday.

“The victim spotted the alleged offender rummaging through his items in Cow Lane and called
police,” Drader says.

“There aren’t quite as many tempting winter coats lying around now so thieves are back to targeting bags.”

Cops swoop on bail breaker

A 27-year-old local builder was charged with breaking bail conditions at 1.55am last Saturday – just two days after being arrested for wilful damage.

“On the Thursday the guy allegedly went nuts after he’d been drinking at Revolver and jumped on the roof of a parked car and smashed a window,” Drader explains.

“He was bailed and wasn’t allowed to enter a licensed premise or consume alcohol but on the Satur­­-
day was seen walking into SkyCity Casino after being in Chico’s bar.”

Trans-Tasman tearaways

A 21-year-old Australian on holi­­-day with his parents was fined “thousands” of dollars in diversion money after vandalising SkyCity Casino with a marker pen last Thursday.

“He tagged the walls, doors and balcony area, and it cost a small fortune to clean up his handiwork as the ink was ingrained,” Drader says.

Another 21-year-old Aussie was done for theft after pilfering groceries from the Night ‘N’ Day store in Camp Street at 3am last Saturday.

“He claimed he’d done it because he was skint and starving,” Drader says. “But he had enough cash to have a few drinks earlier so he obviously needs to get his priorities sorted.

“The guy also complained he had nowhere to stay and would have to live on the streets until he went to court.”