More charges likely for theft suspects

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Two teenagers accused of a mini-crimewave around Queenstown are likely to face further charges as more alleged victims come forward. 

The 16-year-old boys were arrested last Wednesday evening and remanded last Friday at Alexandra Youth Court into the care of Child, Youth & Family Services until January 29. 

They face 13 joint charges following an alleged series of burglaries and car thefts over the past few weeks. 

Queenstown senior constable Chris Blackford says: “A couple who live on Closeburn Road reported a burglary on Tuesday. 

“They’d been away and returned to find an iPod docking station and other small electronic items had been taken. 

“Some of the items were recovered at the address of a person who’s now remanded into the custody of Child Youth and Family.” 

The teens face three burglary charges, five charges of theft from a car, four charges of unlawful interference with a motor vehicle and one charge of wilful damage. 

Constable Dave Felstead is collating data and should be contacted by anyone affected. 

Street ‘trap’ 

Police are calling on Lakes Hayes Estate residents to be vigilant after a driver reported snapping a string strung across Sylvan Street. 

“The string was at windscreen height,” Blackford says. 

“The driver described it as the perfect height for the throat of a cyclist. 

“There is an offence of endangering transport which carries huge penalties and also an offence of setting a man-trap.” The Lakes Hayes Estate woman was driving to work at 7am on Monday when she heard a pinging sound. 

It’s the latest in a series of odd incidents at LHE in recent months, including repeated acts of vandalism in the McBride Park playground with toilet bowls filled with stones. Faeces were also smeared across the playground slide and public BBQ. 

Police want to hear from anyone with information. 

Lock your cars – cops 

Queenstown may be one of the safest places in the world but don’t think we’re immune to opportunistic thieves, police say. 

A camera, wallet and Leatherman tool were pinched from two unlocked vehicles on Man St overnight on Saturday. 

Blackford: “As safe as New Zealand is considered to be and as safe as people feel here compared with the rest of the world, I doubt there’s anywhere in the world you can leave items placed on the seat of an unlocked vehicle and expect them to be there when you return.” 

Queenstown beggar 

Police say more local businessfolk have contacted them about a woman going door-to-door asking people for money. 

The middle-aged woman is calling on CBD businesses, telling staff her son has died in a motorcycle accident in New Plymouth and she needs money to get home and arrange a funeral. 

Blackford: “If her story is valid, there are many agencies in Queenstown that could help such as the Salvation Army. It appears to be a sob story. The same woman has also been knocking on doors in Frankton asking for spare food. 

“People should be aware they might be approached by the woman behaving in a manner that is tantamount to begging.” 

The Maori woman is slim, about 173cm tall, and wears her hair in a ponytail. 

Blackford says another business contacted him on Monday to say she’d asked for a loan. 

A reader also contacted Mountain Scene to say the woman is also selling key rings at $5 each to raise money for her son with ADHD and autism. 

Germans in trouble 

Two German men were arrested outside World Bar on Shotover St in separate incidents for arguing with bouncers. 

A 19-year-old spent a night in the cells after becoming abusive to staff when ejected at 12.40am on Tuesday for being too drunk. He was released the next morning after sobering up and given a pre-charge warning. 

On Wednesday morning, a 27-year-old was also given a pre-charge warning after being refused entry. 

“He sat down on the stairs and made a fool of himself so police were called,” Blackford says.