Rampaging Youths Trash Cars, homes
4:00AM Tuesday Feb 24, 2009
By Beck Vass
"Five teenagers arrested yesterday allegedly drove around Auckland on a six-hour vandalism rampage, causing more than $30,000 of damage to cars and property in some of the city's wealthiest suburbs.
Police say the group hurled rocks and bottles through 17 car windows and the window of a bedroom where a woman and her child were sleeping.
Police believe there are more victims who have not yet contacted them because some crimes, such as vehicle damage, are not always reported.
Officers want anyone affected by such vandalism from 10pm on January 13 to about 4am the next day to contact them.
Sergeant Jason Lamont of Glen Innes police said the group - a 16-year-old and four 17-year-olds - were travelling in a white station wagon randomly targeting vehicles in Remuera, Newmarket, St Heliers, Kohimarama, Mission Bay, Orakei, Glendowie, Pakuranga, Half Moon Bay and Glen Innes.
The cost of damage to the vehicles ranged from a $230 rear quarter-window to $2000 each for two vehicles that had panel damage as well as smashed windows. Most of the vehicles had about $1200 of damage.
Most of the damage would be covered by insurance, Mr Lamont said, but some victims were "terribly upset".
"It's just the whole gravity of what these guys have done," he said. "And the inconvenience."
A Half Moon Bay woman and her baby were asleep when a rock smashed through their bedroom window and lodged in the blinds.
Mr Lamont did not know how close the two were to the window.
The arrested teens came from the suburbs affected, he said.
It seems that even the more wealthy and desirable parts of the country are being affected by the current wave of mindless crime sweeping across New Zealand.
When these young thugs are arrested the punishment handed out by the courts should reflect the feelings of the communities that they terrorised and those responsible should also make reparation to their victims.