Police warn people of begging woman

BROOKE GARDINER IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 05:00 22/01/2013

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Queenstown police are warning people to be wary of a woman who has been begging for food and money for the past two months.

Senior Constable Chris Blackford said police had received reports of the woman knocking on doors in the Frankton area and begging for any spare food residents may have.

The woman has also been doing the rounds of local businesses telling a sob story about her son dying and asking people for money to get back to New Plymouth.

"People should be aware that they may be approached by this woman who is behaving in a manner which is tantamount to begging."

The woman, who is known to police after she was dealt with through the diversion scheme for a dishonesty matter, has been asking for food for at least two months.

It is not known whether there is any substance to her story, but if the woman did need financial assistance to get home to New Plymouth there were plenty of agencies which could help her, Mr Blackford said.

"There's a network of people . . . who would be only too willing to help her if her claims are true."

The woman is described as Maori, aged in her 40s, about 176cm tall and wearing her hair in a ponytail.

A Queenstown Bay tourism operator who was twice approached by the woman said she changed her story on the second visit but moved on when she realised staff had remembered her.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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