Police nab man on run

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An Auckland man urinating in public faces months in jail after admitting he was on the run for 18 months. 

Matthew Hirini Campbell, 34, was stopped by Queenstown officers on Cow Lane in the early hours of Saturday morning. 

Haley Mackenzie, intelligence support officer, says: “He gave conflicting details at the time to officers so he was arrested. 

“On the way back to the station he admitted he had three outstanding warrants. It is quite a good little catch for the officers.” 

Campbell had failed to appear in courts across New Zealand during the past two years on various charges, including assaulting a female, driving while disqualified and failing to complete community work sentences. 

Unemployed Campbell appeared in Queenstown District Court on Monday. He applied for bail, offering to pay $5000 off previous fines, but was remanded in custody by Judge Michael Turner. He will appear again on March 12. 

Czech’s $2000 shoplift spree 

A 50-year-old Czech tourist has been charged with theft after being accused of a huge shoplifting spree. 

The woman allegedly stole $2000 worth of clothing from various stores across Queenstown and Glenorchy – items included $470 possum and merino jumpers and a $5 hat. Officers caught up with her after a detailed description provided by Beach Street boutique store Seletti, from where she is accused of stealing a $300 top. 

Mackenzie says: “Officers then found a number of items she had allegedly stolen back in her hotel room.” 

The woman is charged with eight counts of shoplifting and one of obstruction after allegedly putting up a fight when arrested. She is bailed to a hotel room on the condition she does not enter Queenstown CBD. 

Assault with no warning 

A Queenstown man suffered facial injuries after being elbowed in the face outside a casino. 

The 35-year-old was walking along Beach Street at about 1.40am on Friday when a Christchurch man, who had been in a Cow Lane bar, allegedly hit him. 

“It is alleged that he walked up to him and attacked him without warning,” Mackenzie says. 

The 38-year-old was arrested and charged with common assault. He will appear in Queenstown District Court at a later date. 

Lock when you leave 

Police are again urging Queens­towners to lock their cars when they leave them after more opportunist thefts. 

Last Thursday, a man had credit cards stolen from his wallet after leaving it in the centre console of his unlocked car as he dropped his daughter off at a dance class. 

The theft occurred on Ballarat Street at about 4pm, from a green Mitsubishi Gallant. 

About $20 in cash was also taken from an unlocked car on Suburb St overnight on Friday. 

“The keys were actually in the car on Suburb St which shows this is mainly opportunists looking for cash,” Mackenzie says. 

“If motorists lock their cars, they are less likely to become victims of theft.” 

Smoking pot in public 

An Englishman was arrested after police officers spotted him smoking a joint as he walked down Shotover St.
“Officers smelled cannabis and spotted him trying to discreetly get rid of a joint in his hand,” Mackenzie says. 

The 26-year-old was charged with possessing cannabis but has since received diversion. 

Expensive grazing continues 

Six more shoplifters were arrested this week for stealing food and drink from Queenstown supermarkets. 

Each week, police are called to various stores to deal with customers who have grazed on nuts, fruits and other foods without paying. 

Mackenzie says: “On Wednesday, a German backpacker helped himself to a plum and a bierstick. 

“They were only worth $4 but now he’ll have to pay a couple of hundred dollars as a donation to a community group to receive a diversion. That’s an expensive lesson. 

“It’s an on-going problem – people sticking their hands in bulk bins and having a feed.” 

An American engineer, 21, was arrested at New World on Thursday for allegedly eating cashew nuts and charged with theft. 

An Israeli tourist, 21, was also stopped for eating nuts. Two Dutch 19-year-old tourists stole cheese and wine from FreshChoice and have received a diversion. And a school boy also received a diversion after stealing an energy drink.