Three German tourists who stole a van from Christchurch Airport in New Zealand have told a court they thought it had been abandoned for free use.
The tourists said they had heard that backpackers often left their cars at the airport when leaving New Zealand if they were unable to sell them.
They found the van, with keys, in the airport carpark on Tuesday and drove away, but were soon stopped by police.
The court found them guilty and ordered them to pay NZ602 (£310; $456) damages.
Friedrich Weisbach, 21, Hans Lorenz Steinfurth, 20, and Isabelle Caroline Manna, 21, had arrived in Christchurch from Australia.
They admitted taking the van, owned by Lucky Rentals and worth NZ$10,000, but said in their defence that it was not an obvious rental and was not in the rental area of the carpark.
It is not uncommon for backpackers to buy a cheap used car or van when they arrive in New Zealand and then sell it on when their tour is over.
Their lawyer said they wanted to plead guilty rather than seek a diversion – under which convictions can be waived for first-time offenders who agree to certain conditions – so they could continue their travels.
Bah. Instead of fining them, they should just jail them for the duration of their visit – then they’d have unique stories to tell, of what it’s like to be in a New Zealand prison! 😉
From a recent edition of the print-only publication Coffee News:
Pheromone parties are the latest trend to hit the international dating scene. These parties allow young men and women to literally sniff out prospective partners. Instead of meeting each other face-to-face, people at these parties just go around sniffing bags of discarded clothing worn by a potential mate. When the smell seems right, it’s time to meet.
Speed dating sounds more sensible to me than this…
To attend a pheromone party, you’ll have to first agree to wear the same cotton T-shirt three nights in a row, without using any deodorant or perfume. You then have to bring your odor-infused clothing to the party in a numbered transparent plastic bag.
And, how do they enforce the agreement? Yes, deodorant and perfume are easy enough to notice if applied, but how will you know the T-shirt has been worn three times…
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A woman in New Zealand has called the police after her cat left a bag of drugs on her doorstep, it’s been reported.
The worried owner, who has not been identified, apparently rang the authorities in Dunedin on the county’s South Island after she found the bag with 5g (0.2oz) of cannabis inside. ”You hear of cats bringing dead birds and rats home, but certainly in my career I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Sergeant Reece Munro tells the Otago Daily Times, adding the marijuana has a street value of about NZ$100 ($85, £51).