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Shin Takizawa (18), a chef, was reported missing on Wednesday night by his workmates and his mother, with whom he lives in Queenstown. He is due back at work this morning.
Sergeant Derek Ealson said Mr Takizawa, who was born in New Zealand, withdrew cash from an ATM at Remarkables Park on Tuesday afternoon. He was last seen at 4pm that day driving a red Mazda Cronos, registration number XJ2074, on SH8 at Tarras.
He is of slight to medium build and height, with short black hair. He was last seen wearing a distinctive multi-coloured baseball cap and casual clothing.
Anyone with information or sightings of Mr Takizawa is asked to contact Sgt Ealson on (03) 441-1600 or they can ring the Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.