Created: Wednesday, 27 July 2016 08:48
The young vandals used large rocks to smash windows in Havelock North, Whakatu and Clive. Supplied.
Some "excellent" detective work by Hawke's Bay police staff has netted those allegedly responsible for a spate of vandalism attacks that caused thousands of dollars’ worth of damage and left their victims shaken.
Senior Sergeant Luke Shadbolt, area manager response for Hastings, said police began receiving multiple calls regarding vandalism attacks on properties throughout the Havelock North area on Tuesday July, 19 followed by others the next day in Havelock North, Whakatu and Clive.
“These apparent random attacks involved rocks being thrown through residents’ windows, causing thousands of dollars’ worth of damage, as well as frightening the nine victims, many of whom were elderly or families with young children who were understandably left shaken and scared,” Mr Shadbolt said.
“Following these calls, frontline officers noted that amongst these incidents – for which there were initially no clear indications of who was involved – at the same time there were prank calls also made to fire and ambulance services, including claims that there was a house fire in Clive.
“Putting this information together, police then set plans in place to catch the offenders while the communications centre worked to trace the prank phone calls, which led to those responsible being identified.
Police photo shwoing the size of some the rocks. Supplied.
“Thanks to the combination of good police work by frontline staff and the support of the communications centre, the two teenage offenders were soon found and arrested at a nearby motel that night.
“Overall it was an excellent team effort to help these vulnerable victims, and through the great work of a number of particularly observant staff, we’re holding those responsible to account and preventing others in our community from becoming victims.”
Mr Shadbolt also acknowledged the work of the CIB and Youth Services, while frontline staff had also since followed up with the victims to organise reparation costs.
“We want residents to feel safe and be safe, and we will continue to work towards preventing and reducing crime in our community.”
The two teenagers will appear in the Hastings Youth Court on Thursday July 28, 2016.