Mid-semester Crime Roundup
Because Crime Doesn’t Take a Vacation
A serial burglar from Christchurch had a pretty sweet routine going – drive down to Dunedin for a couple of days, saunter into student flats through an unlocked door or window, steal laptops and other goodies, then head back up the highway to safety. But his luck ran out on Saturday August 11 when a woman, in the middle of a conversation with police, spotted the man and identified him as having been in her backyard on the day her house was burgled.
Police are unsure whether the man, who has so far been accused of six burglaries, is also one of the peeping toms terrorising North Dunedin. The peepers have been doing the dirty deed in the same part of town as the Christchurch-based burglar, in the area around Great King and Grange Streets. However, the peeping toms have been described as over 6 feet tall, potentially ruling out the more diminutive burglar as a suspect.
An Otago Polytechnic student did his institution’s reputation no favours when he turned himself in to police in response to a report of a jacket being stolen from Unipol, only to hand over a different stolen jacket from the one the police were looking for. The man has now been charged for both thefts, and won’t be able to bulk up in preparation for his time in the slammer due to being banned from Unipol.
Reported fashion crimes are down 35% from the previous 12-month period, with the zero-tolerance policy towards black puffer jackets finally starting to sink in. These encouraging stats have also been attributed to the “broken windows” policy, which aims to deter minor offences, such as wearing a dress shirt that comes with a tie sewn to the collar, before they inevitably lead to full-blown crimes against aesthetics.
Finally, the Proctor wistfully lamented the abolition of the offence of “attempted suicide” after a group of students surfed the Leith while it was in flood.