Vigilante attack over stolen car

MICHAEL FOX
Last updated 05:00 22/02/2012

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A vigilante mob of armed boy racers subjected an Auckland household to a terrifying 15-minute attack after a stolen car was earlier spotted there.

Occupants of the Coatesville house claim carloads of people turned up armed with steel bars, bats and shanks and laid siege to their home earlier this month, in an attack arranged on Facebook.

Two people at the house were injured and several cars were severely damaged in the incident, which is being investigated by police.

Victim Katrina Berghan was visiting her friends at the house on the Coatesville-Riverhead highway - one of two houses on the property - on February 10 when the rampage began about 10.30pm.

"The neighbours ran inside and told us to call the cops because a mob's just turned up. We had no prior warning or anything [and] didn't know anything about it, next thing you know six of us are getting attacked by over 300 people.

"They were really trying to hurt us."

The Facebook-arranged attack was believed to be retribution for the theft of a high-performance car two days earlier by men claiming to be police officers.

Jerome Kino's Mitsubishi Evo was stolen from his parents' Devonport house by two men who claimed they needed to seize it because it was involved in a hit-and-run.

The car still has not been found.

Members of a Facebook page called Stolen Cars Auckland Region - which is "liked" by almost 2000 people - claimed Kino's car was spotted at the Coatesville house.

Kino went to the property on the morning before the attack and discovered it in a shed after activating his alarm.
Several people then fled in the stolen car.

After Kino visited the address a member of the Stolen Cars page organised a "cruise" past the house.

"I've setup a Facebook event to notify people that this is happening tonight and we're going around to the house to investigate," the administrator wrote on a Gameplanet forum on the day of the attack.

"Now this isn't a bash cruise, it's a cruise where we don't know what's going to happen," he wrote.

Following the attack, other forum users said the wrong property had been hit.

"I heard a whole bunch of cars that had nothing to do with anything got f***** up at a property because some retarded morons got confused and went to the wrong house," one wrote.

Detective James Bolton of North Shore police said Kino denied involvement in the Coatesville attack.

Bolton said stickers similar to ones Kino had on his car were found at the address.

He said police had spoken to the occupants of both houses at the address but were yet to determine what Kino's car was doing there.

"We still haven't established the link there."

No-one has been charged over the incident.

Police haven't approached other members of the stolen cars group, but may if they identify who was involved in the incident.

Bolton said there was little police could do to stop people taking matters into their own hands.

Berghan said she was fed up with being treated like a criminal and wanted someone to pay for the damage to their cars.

"The least they could have done was get their facts straight before attacking us, as we are not involved in anything to do with cars, and were just at home catching up."

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