Van­dals paint Toko­roa blue

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By FLORENCE KERR

An overnight tag­ging spree on Satur­day through­out Toko­roa has come with a hefty $20,000 price tag.

Graf­fiti was re­ported on a num­ber of schools, streets and busi­nesses, as well as the Toko­roa Vol­un­teer Fire Ser­vice and St John Am­bu­lance build­ing.

St John Am­bu­lance Op­er­a­tions Team Man­ager, John Sem­mens said the dam­age done to the build­ing would mean money set aside for buy­ing life sav­ing equip­ment would need to be spent paint­ing over the dam­age.

‘‘We run on do­na­tions to keep our ser­vice afloat.

‘‘All our money goes to­wards train­ing new vol­un­teers and buy­ing equip­ment.

‘‘Now we have to al­lo­cate fund­ing to­wards this clean up where it would be bet­ter spent on run­ning our ser­vice.’’

Toko­roa Po­lice Sergeant, Graeme Hill said the po­lice had ‘‘an idea’’ who the cul­prits were.

Po­lice be­lieve those in­volved in the spree came from a party where there were un­der-age drinkers.

‘‘It ap­pears the of­fend­ers may be youth and will be dealt with through youth aid, how­ever, we will be push­ing for crim­i­nal charges to be laid due to the sever­ity of the dam­age.’’

Sergeant Hill said the de­struc­tion af­fected a large chunk of the town, ‘‘even trees were tagged’’.

The sug­gested $20,000 price tag was a ‘‘con­ser­va­tive es­ti­mate’’, Mr Hill said.

‘‘I wouldn’t be sur­prised if the dam­age sur­passed that amount.’’

A per­son who saw the van- dal­ism on Sun­day and did not want to be named thought the de­struc­tion was a dis­grace and also pon­dered about the cul­prits’ ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

‘‘Be­sides the ob­vi­ous dis­re­spect for other peo­ple’s things, I also won­der about their com­pre­hen­sion of the english lan­guage?

‘‘I think the court sys­tem should sen­tence these id­iots to writ­ing and read­ing classes.’’

Any­one with any in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the graf­fiti may call the po­lice on 0800 525 368.

TOKO­ROA TAGGED: Toko­roa res­i­dents and busi­ness own­ers woke on Sun­day morn­ing to graf­fiti which stretched from the Cen­tral Busi­ness District to res­i­den­tial ar­eas go­ing as far as Tas­man Drive.

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