Teens’ hi­jinks prompt po­lice into op­er­a­tion

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By CHE BAKER

Three 17-year-old Cromwell girls sparked an hour-long po­lice hunt across Cen­tral Otago and Queen­stown Lakes dis­tricts last week af­ter they were spot­ted leav­ing a store wear­ing bal­a­clavas.

A con­cerned mem­ber of the public alerted po­lice af­ter be­liev­ing the girls were males rob­bing the store and seven pa­trol cars were called in.

Sergeant Keith Newell, of Queen­stown, said two of the girls had walked out of the Cromwell store sport­ing bal­a­clavas, while an­other, em­bar­rassed by the pair, had put her jacket over her head.

Po­lice from Queen­stown, Wanaka, Cromwell and Alexan­dra were called to as­sist in find­ing the looka­like rob­bers and sev­eral cor­dons were set up.

The ve­hi­cle they were in was lo­cated on SH6 near the Crown Range turnoff where po­lice found three sur­prised teenagers.

Newell said there had been noth­ing sin­is­ter in the girls "hi­jinks" be­hav­iour.

"I don’t think they thought about the con­se­quences of what they’d done."

De­spite the call­out be­ing a false alarm, it had been a good train­ing ex­er­cise for po­lice.

"They kept us on our toes," Newell said.

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