A driver who allegedly led police on a high-speed chase through Queenstown was eventually caught by a bush.
The 21-year-old, originally from Whakatane, was spotted doing donuts and burnouts in his Subaru Legacy by officers on Frankton Road in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
They gave chase but then abandoned their pursuit because it was deemed too dangerous.
Haley MacKenzie, intelligence support officer, says: “He was allegedly later travelling along Highview Terrace at speed.
“He cuts across a moderate right-hand bend, brakes and skids on to the driveway and garden of a property.
“He attempted to reverse out but the vehicle was caught on vegetation. He did a runner.”
The driver faces charges of careless driving, reckless driving, failing to stop when followed by red and blue flashing lights, causing a sustained loss of traction and unlawfully being in an enclosed yard or area. He is due to appear in court next week.
Tourists targeted by thieves
A Japanese tourist, 30, had goods worth thousands of dollars stolen while on her way to Queenstown Airport.
A thief stole her $100 bag containing a $1400 camera, $550 Gucci sunglasses, an iPhone and a book, while she waited for a bus outside O’Connell’s Shopping Centre.
MacKenzie says: “Her bags were on the ground next to her.
“A guy started talking to her and when he left and she turned around her bag had gone.
“It is unusual and not a very nice end to your holidays.”
The woman reported the theft, which happened at 7.30am on Saturday, at Auckland police station when she arrived in the city.
The goods were worth an estimated $2500 in total. Queenstown police will study CCTV footage from the shopping centre.
An Aussie tourist also had a bag stolen while in the town. He had left his room unlocked at an apartment hotel on Frankton Road on Friday. Shortly before 3.30pm, somebody snuck in and stole his backpack, containing his wallet, credit cards and licence.
Friends in fisticuffs
Two best mates face charges of fighting in public after they allegedly came to blows in front of police officers.
The British painter, 32, and Irish welder, 29, were apparently arguing outside National Bank on Camp Street shortly before 2am on Sunday.
MacKenzie says: “It allegedly escalated; they started fighting, fell on the ground and continued to exchange punches.
“They both had quite a few scrapes and bruises – it looks like they were reasonably evenly matched.”
They were quickly arrested by officers, who were parked just down the street.
Both men, who live in Queenstown, were charged with fighting in a public place.
In another incident, a 27-year-old British woman appears to have dropped her boyfriend in it after reporting she was attacked outside a shop.
MacKenzie says: “The original call we got was that a female had been assaulted; punched and kicked, by an unknown male outside Night ‘n Day on Camp Street.
“However, on viewing the CCTV footage that does not appear to be the case.
“It is alleged the woman’s boyfriend had an altercation with another male, punched him and she has got involved and kicked the unknown male in the private area.”
The woman, who works as a receptionist, was given a warning. Her Canadian boyfriend, a bartender, was
charged with disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence.