Quake funds stolen

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A heartless thief has stolen money collected for a Christchurch earthquake appeal. 

The Red Cross fundraising tin was pinched from Patagonia coffee shop, Queenstown Airport, last Saturday between 2.30pm and 4.30pm. 

Senior constable Sean Drader says: “The tin was found later in the toilets. 

Officers are examining CCTV footage of the shop. 

A man described as about 5ft 10in, Maori or Polynesian, late 20s or early 30s, and wearing a grey-and-blue striped sweater, was seen at the time. 

Radio Ga Ga 

Police seized a stereo after noisy Fernhill residents refused to keep the volume down. 

Neighbours complained three times about the blaring music coming from an address on Dart Place. Council representatives served an abatement notice in the early hours of November 5. But when the police arrived at 7am the stereo was still pumping out tunes. 

“They were given warnings and opportunities,” Drader says. 

“When the notice is breached, officers will attend and remove whatever is making the noise – be it a person or a stereo.” 

The culprit will now have to pay a fee before they can reclaim the offending stereo. 

Man punched unconscious 

Two Invercargill teenagers were charged with assault offences after an alleged attack in Earnslaw Park.
The men, 18, are accused of punching two Queenstown men, both 24, near the public toilets. 

One was knocked out while the other suffered a bloody nose. 

“It’s alleged a heavy punch to the head caused one victim to lose conscious,” Drader says. 

“The other had a packet of chips knocked from his hand before being hit. He suffered a bloody nose and pain to his jaw.” 

One Invercargill teen, a builder’s apprentice, is charged with a Crimes Act assault. The other, a dairy worker, was charged with common assault, following the incident at 11.45pm on Tuesday. 

Fireworks fiasco 

Firefighters tackled a dangerous blaze at the top of Queenstown Hill on Tuesday night. 

The fire, which threatened to spread to woodland surrounding houses, could be seen from Frankton and Kelvin Heights. Youngsters from a local Christian church group had been letting off fireworks in the area, near the Basket of Dreams memorial. 

Fire crews arrived at 10pm and had to run about 1km uphill carrying their equipment. By then the fire had a 200m front. It burnt about half a hectare before being extinguished. 

A helicopter was brought into monitor the blaze and crews remained on the scene damping down until 6am. 

Fashion faux pas 

A shoplifter with unusual fashion taste stole a pair of pink and green tights worth $40. 

The tartan tights were taken from Forest & Stream New Zealand shop, Beach Street. A woman, described as about 5ft 3in, in her 30s and wearing a scarf, beige jacket and trousers, was looking at tights in the shop. 

“When she left, the shop assistant found the tights missing,” Drader says. 

Drink driving blitz 

Three motorists were arrested for drink-driving within half-an-hour of each other on Sunday morning.
The drivers were stopped on Frankton Road and Adelaide Street. 

A 19-year-old man pulled over at 12.30am gave a breath alcohol reading of 474 micrograms per litre of breath. Under 20s are not allowed to consume any alcohol before driving. 

About 15 minutes later, a 63-year-old American man driving a rental car “blew” 535, and at 1.08am a 28-year-old woman gave a reading of 633. The legal limit is 400. 

Officers made several other drink driving arrests throughout the week, including a French chef whose breath-test reading was 627. 

“We can have as many as 20 in a week if there’s a squad in town checking motorists,” Drader says.