On the scrounge

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But there’s no free meals in Queenstown.

A sneaky middle-aged man tried to score a free dinner last week – but ended up with a bad taste in his mouth, courtesy of Queenstown police.

The 53-year-old Fairlie resident was charged with fraud and drink-driving after allegedly inviting himself to dine with guests at the Gold Ridge Hotel at Frankton Road at 9.20pm last Tuesday.

Acting senior sergeant Brian Cameron says the gent joined his unsuspecting hosts for dinner then tried to charge his meal and alcohol to their room.

The freeloader scarpered when hotel staff challenged him, but cops found him later at the Mobil service station in Frankton.

“This proves there really is no such thing as a free meal,” says Cameron.

More freebie hunters

Two Queenstown teenagers were issued a warning for scavenging food scraps in skips behind Fresh Choice supermarket at 4.20am on February 28.

Cameron says the 17-year-old and 16-year-old females told cops they were “freegans” – people who salvage discarded food from urban sources to protest against consumerism.

“Just because someone discarded [food] doesn’t mean it’s available for anyone to take – theft is theft,” he says.

“If you honestly thought it was free for the taking, you wouldn’t be doing it at 4.20 in the morning.”

Week of violence

A man described as a light-skinned Maori male allegedly split open a 24-year-old Dunedin man’s head at the Buffalo Club at 1.50am on March 1.

Cameron says the offender hit the victim in the face with a glass on the dance floor, before throwing it and striking a 23-year-old female Norwegian tourist on the head.

Both victims were taken to Lakes District Hospital. Police are seeking witnesses to the attack.

A 19-year-old Queenstown man landed two assault charges after allegedly berating two 22-year-old Brits for wearing tight T-shirts at 1am on February 28 outside the Thirsty Ram on Shotover St.

Cameron says the man lashed out, giving one tourist a fat lip and the other a split tongue. “He obviously saw himself as the local fashion police.”

Up in smoke

A 17-year-old Queenstown lad was nabbed at 9.50pm on February 26 for allegedly possessing a cannabis pipe.

At 11pm the same night, a man believed to be in his mid-20s legged it after police spotted him acting suspiciously near the fish and chip kiosk at Marine Parade.

“He ran away, dumping a small tin containing some cannabis into a rubbish bin,” says Cameron.

Bouncer issues

Cops busted a 36-year-old man for supposedly becoming aggressive with bouncers after being refused entry to Bardeaux at 3.30am on February 28.

Cameron says “overindulgence with alcohol” was a factor.

Police also arrested a 36-year-old local bouncer from Subculture for assault after he allegedly punched a male patron on February 23.

The blow caused the 24-year-old local victim’s nose to bleed.

Mischievous tricks

Two 15-year-old budding artists were spotted tagging an inappropriate symbol on a Highview Terrace building site at 11am on February 28.

Cameron says the pair – whose orange symbol calling card “gives them a degree of notoriety” – have been referred to youth aid.

Three pay-and-display parking machines on the corner of Ballarat and Stanley Streets were smashed open and looted overnight on February 26-27.

Police have fingerprints and hope to identify the culprit.