Holiday crime spree in city

A holiday season crime spree continued in Dunedin yesterday.

Detective Sergeant Dave Nelson said two men wearing black clothing and with their faces covered forced their way through the locked front door of a Northeast Valley house at 4.15am yesterday.

Three people were in the house in Beechworth St when the men entered making threats and demanding money.

The occupants did not know the men, Det Sgt Nelson said.

The men stole a packet of cigarettes. The car of Australian tourists parked at a house in Cannington Rd, Maori Hill, was broken into between 3am and 3.15am yesterday.

A backpack containing $A3000 cash and passports was stolen.

The tourists had flights booked to return to Australia yesterday and travelled to Christchurch to try to board their plane without passports.

Another vehicle in Cannington Rd was broken into and searched yesterday morning, Sergeant Steve Aitken, of Dunedin, said.

The vehicles were among about 20 that have been broken into in the past week. Many were parked in recreational car parks including Sullivan's Dam, Sandymount, Blackhead and Tunnel Beach.

Sgt Aitken urged tourists parking in recreational areas to take a photo of any other cars in the vicinity to help police inquiries if a car was broken into.

● An 18-year-old man was charged with failing to stop, reckless driving and excess breath alcohol after a police pursuit about 2.30am in Dunedin yesterday.

The man was seen speeding in Portsmouth Dr and Begg St before being stopped.

The man was allegedly driving with a breath-alcohol level of 206mcg - there is a zero breath-alcohol limit for drivers under the age of 20.

The man will appear in the Dunedin District Court on January 12.

● A pair of new cycle shoes and its receipt were stolen from a workshop in Willowbank between December 31 and January 5.

The stolen shoes were returned to Cycle World Dunedin this week and exchanged for cash.

A Cycle World Dunedin spokeswoman said the stolen items were Specialized mountainbiking shoes worth more than $200.

She said the shop had CCTV footage of the exchange and were assisting police with their inquiries.

● A builder's tools, including a drill, nail gun, jigsaw, screw gun and jack hammer, worth about $12,000, were stolen from a locked house in Centre Rd, Ocean Grove, between December 23 and January 5.

● Someone attempted to break into George Street Normal School in Dunedin between December 18 and January 5. A reinforced glass window in a door was smashed.

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