Green-fingered thieves lift school plants


Police are hunting heartless thieves who ripped up and stole 100 new plants from the front of Queenstown Primary sometime during last Thursday and Friday. 

The native plants, worth about $2000, were put in by pupils a month ago. 

“Judging by the amount of stuff taken, the offenders must have used a vehicle or a very large wheelbarrow to transport them from the site,” intelligence support officer Haley MacKenzie says. 

“We would like to hear from anyone who may have seen anything suspicious – or perhaps noticed a neighbour with a lovely new garden.” 

Queenstown Primary principal John Western says he’s devastated by the theft of the plants which were donated to the school. 

Parents and pupils had helped prepare the site during a working bee before the kids spent a day planting them, he says. 

“So for some lowlife to go and take them, well, I really didn’t think it would happen in Queenstown. I hope they see the error in their ways and return them. Otherwise they should think about leaving Queenstown – we don’t need people like that.”

Shotgun swiped

Police would like information on a shotgun that was nicked from a hunter’s car at Gibbston Valley between noon and 1pm last Sunday. 

“The owner had gone rabbit shooting just a few hundred metres from his vehicle and when he returned it had been broken into,” MacKenzie comments. 

“A Remington pump-action shotgun was taken from the boot, which obviously is a worry.”

French farce

A Frenchman who had his licence suspended in February for a raft of driving offences has been caught back behind the wheel. 

He was pulled over by cops in Man Street at 1am last Thursday and charged with drink-driving and driving while disqualified. 

“When he was caught in February the man tried to run away from police,” MacKenzie says. 

“On this occasion, he allegedly jumped into the passenger seat and tried to convince officers that he hadn’t been driving at all, despite him being the sole occupant of the vehicle. 

“By all accounts, it wasn’t a very convincing performance.” 

Drunk in the deep end

A 24-year-old Christchurch man has been charged with disorderly behaviour after a drunken 2am dip in the swimming pool at Fernhill’s Heritage Hotel last Sunday. 

Cops were called when the boozed-up yob allegedly became abusive after being told to get out of the water as he was disturbing other guests. 

“He’d allegedly been yelling and swearing and wouldn’t vacate the pool,” MacKenzie says. 

“He was taken to his room by officers and later arrested.”

Car burglars on prowl

Cops are warning car owners to be on guard after a spate of vehicle break-ins over Easter. 

Several cars in Frankton and Fernhill were entered last weekend and personal items stolen, MacKenzie says. 

“This is mostly a story of unlocked vehicles being targeted.”