Elderly NZ woman claims rowdy tourist charged her $8800 to fix roof, then ran away

An elderly woman believes a trio of the now notorious rowdy tourists stole thousands of dollars from her.

Heidrun Leonard, 82, says the group offered to fix a hole in her roof before taking off with $8800 she gave them, and leaving the hole.

It's the handy-work of three men one of whom Ms Leonard says she recognises from the rowdy British tourist group.

She said no alarm bells were raised initially.

"I was not suspicious, I let them do what they wanted."

A littering incident on Takapuna beach on January 13 sparked global interest in the unruly 'British tourists' who then went on to cause havoc around the country.

Allegations of trashing hotels, ripping off restaurants and stealing have plagued the group, one of them was even convicted of theft in court.

Ms Leonard is German-born and moved to New Zealand to teach at Steiner Schools.

She said she had not been following the group's antics but recognised one of the trio when she saw photos.

She said she was targeted and scammed by them on January 4, nine days before the group gained their notoriety.

"I was outside, they passed by and they said 'we would be able to get your roof alright,' and I didn't know there was something wrong with it but I thought it wouldn't be too bad."

She says she decided to show them a small area in her ceiling which had been causing her slight concern.

"I let them in and showed them where my paint came off in the toilet and bathroom a bit and thought it might need to be a bit dried up and they said 'yes, we can do that'." 

After making a hole so they could inspect the ceiling, Ms Leonard says the men asked for an up-front deposit to hire the tools needed to fix her roof.

She said she was assured she'd get it back.

"They said if they want to work with these machines they would have to pay $8800 and after they have done the job, I would get the money back, and they disappeared with the $8800."

Police have confirmed an investigation into the incident is underway and that Ms Leonard's complaint isn't the only complaint of this nature they've received recently.

It's an active investigation so police cannot comment further or speculate on the identities of those involved; however, they are appealing for anyone with similar experiences to get in touch.

Many of the group have left the country after being handed deportation notices earlier this month following an altercation at a Hamilton Burger King.

Ms Leonard is holding onto hope that her money will be returned.


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