House burglaries and car break-ins on rise


Rum and the dash…

Cops want to speak to this man (above) who was caught on CCTV swiping a bottle of spirits from Betty’s Liquor Store in Camp Street at 11.45pm last Thursday. 

He then jumped into a waiting white Subaru (also pictured) before being driven off. 

“The alleged offender was refused service at the shop because he was drunk,” Haggart says. “On his way out he grabbed a bottle of white rum and fled in the getaway car. 

“He’s described as being tall and thin with a shaved head and a rat-tail at the back, so he’s pretty distinctive looking.”

Keep doors locked

Police are investigating a second spate of house burglaries and car break-ins in Queenstown within a week. 

A number of vehicles – some with windows smashed (including one pictured above) – and a home were entered at Kelvin Heights overnight last Sunday and items taken. 

The same night, four cars and a garage were targeted in the Fernhill area. Two other motors were also broken into at Sunshine Bay overnight on Monday. 

The previous week, three 16-year-old boys and a 15-year-old girl – all pupils at Wakatipu High – were arrested days after they allegedly stole $30,000 of property from four Queenstown homes while the occupants are asleep. 

“It’s unusual to have so many incidents like this so close together, which is worrying,” acting sergeant Tracy Haggart says. 

“People in the area should be extra vigilant about locking up their property and vehicles at the moment.”

Punch drunk 

A 24-year-old Australian visitor was charged with wilful damage after swinging a punch at a passing taxi in Ballarat St and breaking a side window at 12.40am last Saturday. “It was a dumb thing to do and apparently he was quite intoxicated,” Haggart says. 

What a silly fuel 

A 24-year-old Queenstown man was charged with theft last Thursday after he’d driven off from a petrol station in Cromwell weeks earlier without paying for $40 worth of fuel. “He said he’d forgotten to pay but we weren’t wearing that excuse as he had plenty of time to go back and put the matter right,” Haggart says. 

No horseplay 

Police charged a 28-year-old local man with drink-driving after he’d driven into a horse float in Fernhill’s Wynyard Crescent and sped off at 1.45am last Thursday. 

“He apparently lost control of the vehicle but kept right on going after he hit the horse float,” Haggart says. 

“The man was soon located at his home.”