Teenagers joy riding in stolen cars
Teenagers as young as 13 are believed to be behind a spate of car thefts.
Police have noticed a rise in the number of cars being stolen in Onehunga and Oranga and say a small group of 13 to 17-year-olds may be responsible.
‘‘At this stage they just seem to be stealing them to joy ride. Most of them are being dumped in the area so they aren’t going very far,’’ Onehunga Community Policing Team Sergeant Rhys Smith says.
At least six thefts in July can likely be attributed to the teens, Mr Smith says. ‘‘We usually only get a few cars stolen so with these ones on top we have got a rise.’’
Most of the teens are believed to be local but some appear to be coming from South Auckland where they are later dumping cars. Mt Wellington Senior Sergeant Graeme Porter says the alleged thieves are targeting older vehicles which they find easier to steal.
‘‘They’re not very sophisticated yet,’’ he says.
In some cases cars have been broken into and damaged, but not taken, because the would-be thieves can’t get them started.
He says the obvious safety concern of young teens driving cars is also a concern.
‘‘This age group can be volatile. They don’t have licences and are self taught. They’re also at that age where if they get into a chase with police they’re more likely to to put their foot down and not stop.’’
Four teenagers have been arrested and are being dealt with by youth aid after the Onehunga Business Association’s CCTV operator recognised them from an earlier break-in.