‘Tis the season for insurance fraud claims

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Sound the horn

A special alarm will be installed on this stuffed bull’s head after a horn was wrenched off at a Queenstown pub last Friday night. 

The bull, which adorns a wall in the men’s toilets at The Ballarat Trading Co, was reunited with its horn on Tuesday when a staff member from a neighbouring bar discovered it and brought it in. 

Ballarat owner Mike Burgess says any further tampering will trigger an alarm and vandals will be prosecuted.

Scamsters collared

A Queenstown police officer arrested a man who shared the same name during an alleged insurance fraud attempt this week. 

Constable Dan Andrew booked Australian Dan Andrew, 24, for making a false complaint on Monday. 

“The offender came to the station and said his bag, laptop, his camera and his hoodie were taken from a skifield,” constable Sean Drader says. 

“After questioning it turned out this guy was lying. He also brought his girlfriend in and she was arrested for obstruction because she was supporting his story.” 

A day later, another pair of tourists – a 23-year-old Australian woman and a 28-year-old Swiss woman – were arrested for the same offence. The Aussie woman said her camera and cell phone had been pinched while she was at a night club. 

“She eventually told the truth and said she’d broken her camera and lost her iPod. She was a business student who wanted to make an insurance claim and her friend was lying to support her, so they got the same charges,” Drader says. 

“She said to me, ‘I just thought everybody does this all the time’. 

“She said ‘I only did it because I’m a student and I haven’t got enough money’. 

“She had enough money to go out drinking,” Drader says.

Running with the balls

A drunk Australian tourist, 20, has been charged with offensive behaviour after running naked along Shotover Street last Friday at 12.30am. 

“He was on a dare. Winter temperatures were evident,” Drader says. 

Ten minutes later, cops nabbed a 20-year-old Dunedin man for offensive behaviour after he “decided to use the 
Cookie Time entrance way [on Camp St] as a urinal”. 

Pint in the face

An American woman was hospitalised last Saturday after a domestic with her Scottish boyfriend. 

The man, 32, allegedly threw a pint glass at his 28-year-old girlfriend’s face at 2.40am after a night out on the booze, Drader says. 

“She had an injury above her right eye, cheek and a bleeding nose.” 

The Scotsman was arrested for injuring with intent to injure.

Freeloading

A 41-year-old Invercargill woman was arrested after allegedly unlawfully entering her parents’ Queens-town house and taking her stepfather’s car earlier this week. 

“The victim and his wife were away on holiday and someone else was looking after the address. The offender came and took one of the cars that she wasn’t allowed to. She’s also used the house while she’s away … and she didn’t have the authority to do that.”

Sign stolen

Police want to hear from anyone who recognises this man (right), after a Lasseters Wharf Casino sign was nicked early last Sunday morning. 

The man, believed to be in his twenties, allegedly walked off with the sign, which turned up in a hallway at Base Backpackers. 

“They went through their CCTV footage and found this guy coming in with it under his arm,” Drader says.