Arrests over window smashing spree
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.