ZB

Youth arrested after group smash their way into St Luke's mall

Author
Ben Leahy, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 21 May 2022, 10:10am
A group broke into St Luke's shopping mall in Auckland overnight. Photo / Hayden Woodward
A group broke into St Luke's shopping mall in Auckland overnight. Photo / Hayden Woodward

Youth arrested after group smash their way into St Luke's mall

Author
Ben Leahy, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 21 May 2022, 10:10am

A young person has been arrested after a group of people smashed into another Auckland shopping mall overnight.

The group used "tools" to smash through the windows of a St Luke's Mall store at around 1.55am today before making off with electronic items, police said.

"The group left in two vehicles, one of which was stolen and found near Mount Albert School," police said.

"One occupant from this vehicle, a youth, was located and arrested close by."

Police said the second vehicle was not yet found, but inquiries are ongoing.

The burglary comes after dozens of businesses have been broken into and ram-raided in recent months, with the culprits - including the drivers - being as young as 11.

Businesses hit by the break-ins have included electronics outlets, bottle shops and a car yard. Some stores have been hit multiple times.

Earlier this month, Police Minister Poto Williams announced $562 million more in funding to tackle crime, and said an additional package would help businesses affected by ram raids, although she would not be drawn on the details.

Children's Commissioner Judge Frances Eivers said most of the youngsters involved in the recent spate of ram raids are involved with Oranga Tamariki.

Police at the scene of the break-in. Photo / Hayden Woodward

Police at the scene of the break-in. Photo / Hayden Woodward

She earlier revealed at least 45 children or teenagers were alleged to have been behind eight crimes such as break-ins or ram raids reported over the school holidays.

She said whānau struggling with the cost of living, the impact of Covid-19 and rangatahi not being at school, or kids being at a loose end could be behind the crime wave.

She called for the Government to step in to help those involved, many of whom were "just babies" who were "hurting inside".

But others have demanded more serious consequences for young offenders, with some claiming the Government is too soft on crime.