The United States rowing team has just had an unpleasant brush with New Zealand’s spiralling crime problem.
On Saturday a member of the team had a number of personal items stolen after the World Rowing Championships at *Lake Karapiro.
A Police press released managed to turn what could’ve been a PR clunker into a ‘gold medal’ news story for the police (and New Zealand) when they apprehended the young burglars responsible and returned the stolen goods to the rower just minutes before he left the country:
After speaking to management at the teams’ hotel, police tracked the stolen iPod, laptop and other belongings to three brothers aged 14, 15 and 17, who admitted the theft.
More stolen property was also found at an Otorohanga property, 58km southwest of Hamilton in the King Country.
Police contacted a man in Otorohanga who admitted receiving the laptop and “it was explained the significance of the theft and the damage to this country’s reputation and he agreed to bring it into the Hamilton Police Station.
“From there an aunty of the offenders helped Police recover the victim’s camera, the US team left Hamilton yesterday about 6pm for an 11pm flight and we needed to get all the property recovered, documented and back to the victim. Time was against us and there’d be no ‘B’ final if we didn’t make it.”” Smith (Ed. Sergeant Dale Smith of the Hamilton Proactive Policing Team) said. read more here – police win race to return rower’s stolen property
We particularly liked the section that said
“It would be fair to say that while the rest of the country is celebrating the achievements of our teams on the water the team in blue delivered a gold medal performance as well in terms of New Zealand’s reputation of a safe, friendly place to visit.”
Well done to the police for working with the community and relatives of the thieves to bring about a successful conclusion to this sorry event. But, if New Zealand was that safe the rower’s hotel room wouldn’t have been burgled in the first place, would it and he would have left the country with only fond memories? If only other tourists could’ve been so lucky!
The police report omitted to mention the rower’s name, age, where he was from in the States, the hotel he was staying in or his position in the team.
Three days earlier a couple honeymooning from Britain also lost a laptop and iPod in a burglary outside of Auckland Zoo. Sabine and Simon Greenslade didn’t get a Gold Medal Response though. Read Honeymoon Couple Lose Precious Photos, No ‘Gold Medal.’
Then on the 14th November a young British couple, Jake Graham and Jess Kelly, lost all their possessions in New Plymouth when their campervan was ransacked during their year long tour of New Zealand, they’re still hoping that some of the photos of their trip will be returned to them. Read More British tourists robbed, no gold for New Plymouth
*Lake Karapiro is an artificial reservoir lake on the Waikato River in the North Island. The lake, near Cambridge and some 30 kilometres (19 mi) south-east of the city of Hamilton, was created in 1947 to store water for the Karapiro Power Station.
For other blogs about American tourists in NZ click HERE
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Previous robbery of British tourists at Kerosene Creek
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Three French tourists beaten and robbed in their campervan in Mangamuka, Northland – police have yet to resolve this crime
A family of Swiss tourists that were assaulted and racially abused in Kaitaia, Northland
Anke Kuballa and Marc Busch from Germany who were robbed in Whangarei, Northland
A family of five robbed at the roadside whilst camping in their van at Oturere Stream, 25km south of Turangi
Two German tourists attacked in Paihia, Northland
Two American tourists were robbed at Shipwreck Bay in Northland whilst sandboarding
Asian woman, (probably Japanese) age 22, raped in her room by 2 teenagers in a home invasion in Opotiki, Northland
Three Chinese tourists attacked and robbed at Te paki, 90 Mile Beach, Northland, by two men they’d stopped to help
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Dutch couple raped and robbed on a campsite in Tuatapere, NW of Invercargill, whilst on their honeymoon. (Dutch govt. issued a travel warning about NZ)
Two Koreans were attacked and robbed of their possession which included a laptop computer by a man claiming to be a gang member in Blenheim.
British tourist worker sexually assaulted near Hururu Falls, Northland when she was dragged off a walking track.
Canadian tourist Jeremie Kawerninski, kidnapped, assaulted and robbed in Lower Hutt, Wellington
Dutch couple robbed and sexually attacked Haruru Falls, Northland whilst on honeymoon.
Two British women robbed and raped in their campervan at Tokomaru Bay, north of Gisborne.
Japanese tourist subjected to a prolonged and brutal sex attack in a communal area of a backpacker’s hostel in Turangi, Taupo.
Scottish woman Karen Aim brutally murdered by a youth in Taupo.
German woman Birgit Brauer murdered near New Plymouth.
Korean man Jae Hyeon Kim decapitated with a spade by white supremacist.
Japanese tourist robbed at gunpoint in Oamaru.
Irish cycle tourist Paul Mack bashed, robbed and urinated on throughout his NZ tour.
6 English and Danish tourists attacked and stabbed in Cashel Mall, Christchurch for having “foreign accents.”
Irish man Robby O’Brien beaten up in Westport.
Russian couple Denis Khotchenko and Lera Nesterova beaten and robbed in Milford, Auckland
English woman knifed and sexually assaulted in a toilet block at an A1 motor camp in Kaikoura
American campers Patrick Dykstra and Kelsey McGinley beaten and robbed at Whangarei Falls, Northland.
Australian tourist sexually assaulted on a street in broad daylight in Nelson.
Australian tourist subjected to a sex attack by Maia Crawford Rongonui whilst walking home to a backpackers in Christchurch.
Canadian tourist left with a fractured skull outside Silver Fern backpackers in Taupo.
Dutch tourist beaten and robbed at Lake Rotorua.
British man Paul Speakman and his young son beaten and robbed in a campervan at Athenree Gorge, Katikati.
Chinese woman attacked for speaking Chinese on a train approaching Petone.
Scottish visitor Stuart Martin who was left in a coma and with a boot print on his face after a street bashing in Taradale, Christchurch.
One thought on “US Rowing Team Member Robbed, World Rowing Championships 2010”
Quick justice is certainly not something anyone should expect here:
Apparently the police take days to even show up if you report a burglery. In my personal experience, reporting burglery and car break-ins only brought frustration with the indifference and incompetence of the police, and I was left with little hope for justice. I do not have faith in the system. It makes you wonder how many thefts are actually reported, especially the second time around. That’s a sobering thought considering the exceptionally high rate of reported theft and burglery in NZ.
It’s a bit ridiculous that the authorities were mostly concerned with NZs reputation abroad. If this really was such a safe place, they wouldn’t be so scared of their reputation being exposed as a sham. It’s all very revealing, really.
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