Know Where Your Kids Are Urge Police
Police urge parents to know where their kids are following Hamilton arrests
Hamilton's top Police officer credits outstanding work by a member of the public and his staff in relation to the arrest of a group of teenagers involved in a large crime spree in the City overnight.
City Area Commander, Inspector Greg Nicholls said six teenage boys believed to be aged between 13 and 16-years-old are currently being interviewed in relation to incidents in the suburb of Hillcrest.
"The incident began about 4am when a man phoned 111 in relation to disturbing three boys on push-bikes breaking into his car parked on Mansel Ave.
"The man then got into his car and followed the trio as they cycled off and followed them to the nearby Hillcrest Park while still in contact with the 111 call centre operator. His relaying of this information was fantastic for responding officers who were able to converge on the park and surrounding areas."
Mr Nicholls said the next outstanding piece of work was by a recently graduated dog handler and his canine partner Gabby who managed to track the offenders despite their fleeing across nearby streets on their pushbikes.
"After a track of about 3km two males were apprehended at a Nevada Rd address while Public Safety Team staff established cordons around the Hillcrest area. Before long four teenagers were in custody and work continued to locate two others.
"By now we were dealing with up to 12 cars having been broken into with reports coming in of the possibility of more. Perhaps the most disturbing thing for Police is that the offenders managed to take a .308 calibre rifle and ammunition from one of these cars."
Mr Nicholls said it was fortunate for all those concerned that the rifle and ammunition were located at a Fenwick Cres property along with a fifth offender.
"A sixth offender was located a short time later and our enquiries are continuing into the possibility others may have been involved. All six teenagers are currently being interviewed with a view of them appearing in the Hamilton Youth Court later today."
"For the second time in 24 hours, Police find themselves reiterating the need for parents, guardians and caregivers to be aware of where your charges are at all times and if you need help to seek it before young people come to the attention of authorities."
Mr Nicholls said while the issue of young people roaming the streets carrying out dishonesty offences is something Police have spoken out about a number of times over recent weeks, the fact an unsecured firearm was being kept together with ammunition in a car is also a major concern.
"This is something we will be taking up with the owner in the near future."
Officers responding to calls about the group's activities report clothing, tramping and camping gear, alcohol and bags were being left strewn across properties and footpaths as the offenders attempted to escape the Police's tightening net.
"It may be that people awoke this morning to find their car broken into or that a bag, clothes or other items was left on their property.
"If that is the case and you haven't already spoken to Police, we ask that you contact the Hamilton Central Police Station on 07 858 6200."
Mr Nicholls said as well as commending the actions of his staff and the member of the public, he asked vehicle owners to consider if there is more they can do to deter opportunist thieves?
"Perhaps you can consider not leaving attractive items in clear view in your car. In some cases basic security precautions such as locking your vehicle weren't adhered to and certainly leaving a firearm and ammunition in an unlocked vehicle is not acceptable.
"If you can't take valuables such as laptops, tools, clothes or guns out of your car, at least lock them away out of view in the boot. Where available we recommend you secure your car in a garage or in a driveway and if you must park out on the street, secure your vehicle in a well lit area."