Masked man’s creepy’ card fraud

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Police want to speak to this masked and hooded character (right) about a disturbing bank ATM fraud in the resort. 

The alleged offender is believed to have swiped $500 from the account of a Queenstown local – possibly using a cloned debit card – at about 12.30am last Saturday. 

CCTV footage from the BNZ at Remarkables Park shows the heavily disguised individual using the ATM machine, set in a quiet corner of the retail park at Frankton. 

The victim – who doesn’t want to be named – learned something was wrong when he tried to use his bona fide card in a late-night Queenstown convenience store just 10 minutes after the offence was committed. 

“I couldn’t believe it when my card was rejected so I immediately phoned BNZ’s 24-hour security team and discovered another card had been used a little earlier at Remarkables Park to withdraw money from my account,” the victim says. 

“I can only assume my card had been cloned at some point and the worrying thing is it could have happened anywhere, at any time – in a local bar, restaurant or shop.” 

The victim adds: “This theft has obviously been well organised and the fact the person on CCTV appears to be wearing a mask, sunglasses and gloves makes it all the more creepy.” 

Queenstown police confirm they are investigating – but it’s too early to say whether the victim’s card was cloned. 

“It’s not that uncommon to see cloned cards being used in the resort that have been brought in from overseas,” constable Sean Drader says. 

“But it would be highly unusual for bank cards to be cloned, made and used in New Zealand.”

Booze sorry now 

An unemployed Queenstowner, 19, was arrested for fraud after trying to nick $514 worth of alcohol from a Beach Street liquor store. 

It’s thought he tried to obtain the goods on September 29 by pretending to order them for a local bar where he used to work. 

“The alleged offender is said to have called the shop claiming to be the boss of the bar where he was once employed and he was sending a worker down to collect some supplies,” Drader says. 

“It’s alleged that on 12 separate occasions, the same man presented himself as a staff member to obtain alcohol and phone cards.”

Night frights

Cops want to trace hoons seen speeding around suburban streets at night in the past few weeks. 

“The culprits have been annoying people in places like Lake Hayes Estate and Arthurs Point,” Drader says. 

“We have received a number of complaints but we need someone to take down the number plates of the vehicle allegedly involved so we can put a stop to this.” 

Meanwhile, police warn residents to be on guard after a woman who had her Hallenstein St flat burgled recently received another scare at 4.30am on September 29. 

“The woman heard footsteps coming up to her door and someone trying the handle,” Drader says. “When she put a light on, whoever it was ran away. 

“The lady was worried that the burglar had come back so it’s advisable that people should lock up their homes securely before they go to bed,” he says.

Mistaken identity

Queenstown police would like to point out that a white van pictured in last week’s Crime Stoppers is not connected to a local flooring firm. 

The vehicle, spotted at Frankton’s Terrace Junction on September 12, had a “Floor It” sticker on the back. 

However, the van has nothing to do with a Queenstown company of the same name, Drader says.