Monday, May 26, 2014

New Zealand: Update--Crime Victim, 30, Who Was Robbed of Everything He Had While Hitch-hiking Becomes Honorary Citizen

According to The Otago Daily Times, Mexican tourist Roberto Arteaga, 30, an attorney from Mexico City, says he plans to continue hitchhiking despite being robbed at gunpoint in northern Hawkes Bay last week.

The young attorney, because of his plight, was made an honorary citizen of Wairoa by the town's mayor, Craig Little, after three assailants took his belongings at gunpoint on State Highway 2 near Raupunga on Monday.  

Arteaga said he'd enjoyed his time with the Little Family, which included a walk around Lake Waikaremoana yesterday afternoon.  

COMMENT: Arteaga was due to leave for Australia in a week and planned to set off toward the Coromandel Peninsula today.  

He said he hadn't been put off hitchhiking. 

‘‘It's one of the best ways to have more contact with the local people,” he said. 

The young attorney's naiveté, suggests that he seemingly is not willing to give up hitch-hiking any time soon, given the fact that previous foreigners have been robbed, raped and even murdered by New Zealanders, despite the human carnage that has resulted from hitch-hiking.

Interestingly, the police in New Zealand apparently see no objection to the high-risk practice.

Little also reportedly made Arteaga an honorary citizen. The presentation included the gifting of a Wairoa tie and cufflinks, $100 cash out of the mayor's fund and a book about the town. 
 
A police representative said three assailants, charged with aggravated robbery, would appear in the Gisborne District Court today in relation to the armed hold-up of Arteaga.

Police from Wairoa and Gisborne searched two Raupunga properties yesterday morning and arrested three males aged 17, 19 and 22. Police found the vehicle used in the robbery as well as some of the tourist's property. 

Arteaga is still missing his camera, cellphone and some clothes. 
 
Anyone with pertinent information should contact Wairoa Police on (06) 8388345 or information could be given anonymously to the Crimestoppers line. 

In retrospect, the Little Family should have given the Mexican tourist a mobile phone, as he no doubt will need it when he arrives in Australia.