Ar­rests over win­dow smash­ing spree

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - PHILLIPA YALDEN AND LUKE KIRKEBY

Four teenagers have been ar­rested over a win­dow smash­ing spree that forced one South Waikato school to close.

The four­some, all aged 16 from Tokoroa, were ar­rested on Thurs­day af­ter­noon for al­legedly smash­ing 52 win­dows at three schools and busi­nesses in Tokoroa over two nights this week.

Dam­age to the class­rooms and safety risk of the ex­ces­sive amounts of glass meant David Henry School had to close on Wed­nes­day.

Shards of glass were left strewn across the grounds of the small pri­mary school af­ter 32 win­dows were smashed us­ing base­ball bats.

The pre­vi­ous night Cargill Open Plan School had 10 to 12 win­dows smashed, and so did Tokoroa Cen­tral School.

Tokoroa po­lice Se­nior Sergeant Ja­son Hen­der­son said lo­cal po­lice worked tire­lessly over two days to make the ar­rests.

Due to the teens’ ages he could not com­ment any fur­ther, he said. All would now go through the Youth Aid process.

David Henry School prin­ci­pal Fiona Gott was thank­ful for the quick catch.

‘‘I’m glad they have found the cul­prits - it shows the po­lice have been on the case.’’ . So many win­dows were bro­ken lo­cal glaziers didn’t have enough glass to fix them all. The dam­age was es­ti­mated to be over $10,000.

Ex­tra tough­ened glass was brought in from Tau­ranga to re­place win­dows, while oth­ers were bor­dered up un­til ur­gent or­ders ar­rived.

South Waikato tru­ancy of­fi­cer Monty Puke said he was ‘‘dis­gusted and hugely dis­ap­pointed’’ in the youths in­volved.

‘‘I felt the hurt and trauma of the pri­mary school chil­dren and their par­ents when they turned up for school to be told the school was closed,’’ he said.

‘‘I have lived and worked in Tokoroa for 50 years and been a tru­ancy of­fi­cer for about eight and these ar­rested sec­ondary school stu­dents have not been on my reg­u­lar tru­ancy list. It is com­pletely out of char­ac­ter for them.’’

Puke con­grat­u­lated the Tokoroa Po­lice for quickly ap­pre­hend­ing the four­some.

‘‘Well done to the Tokoroa Po­lice to ar­rest these stu­dents within the week. I hope they re­pay those pri­mary schools and

chil­dren with vol­un­tary apol­ogy labour next term, plus do their pun­ish­ment if any,’’ he said.

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