A man with a history of targeting tourist guest rooms is being fingered for a string of petty thefts in Queenstown.
A man released from prison stints in 2007 and 2008 is believed to be behind thefts from hostel and hotel rooms last Thursday, constable Sean Drader says.
It’s understood a man was arrested near Oamaru on Tuesday and faces charges.
Queenstown break-in victims include two Finnish tourists staying at the Black Sheep Backpackers.
The pair had wallets taken between 8.30pm-11pm. One also lost a passport.
Five rooms were entered at the Crowne Plaza hotel from 6.30pm-11pm. Two Australians had purses with credit cards and Nokia cellphones taken. A Kiwi hotel occupant had a wallet and silver bangle taken.
“The offender entered from a sliding door via courtyards,” Drader says.
On the same day at Base Backpackers, an unknown man entered a dorm while three people slept. The man took two wallets and $600 cash.
“They hadn’t shut the door properly – someone left their shoe in it.”
Separately, a camper staying at Frankton Camping Ground had his wallet containing $135 and a French bank card taken.
“The victim was using the shower block and left his wallet behind. When he went back it was gone.”
A bit lippy
A 19-year-old man from the United Kingdom was found knocked out on Rees Street last Friday about 1.20am.
“He was punched from behind by an unknown male and received a cut to the back of the head,” Drader says.
“When police spoke with him in the morning, he didn’t want to make a complaint and his friends were of the opinion he was bit lippy. The assumption is that initially he had something to do with it.”
Domestic and drunk
A recent Queenstown arrival from Auckland who was put in police cells for detoxification was then busted for cannabis possession.
Police were called to an Arrowtown address where a drunk man refused to leave, became argumentative and wouldn’t give his name, Drader says.
“He refused to come with police and he left the address and was not able to look after himself properly. He was brought back for detox and when searched he was found in possession of cannabis.”
A man trying car doors along Frankton Road last Sunday night was arrested for unlawful interference.
The 42-year-old Queenstown man was pinged at about 10.15pm. “Somebody saw him and rang us, which is good,” Drader says.
Not your beef
A English tourist was done for eating slices of beef while walking around Fresh Choice supermarket about 4.30pm last Saturday. The 19-year-old left without paying, Drader says. The value of the meat was $2.70.