Joyriders have wreaked havoc in a Hastings park, destroying 30 young trees before ploughing their vehicle - believed to be stolen - into the side of a church.
A 1990s model Subaru Legacy station wagon was found wedged in the side of the Flaxmere Baptist Church shortly after 5am this morning.
Police had been alerted to activities of the car, seen tearing up the grass on Flaxmere park and bowling 30 young trees.
The offenders ran off before police arrived.
Senior sergeant Bob Gordon said the car - now a write-off - was believed to have been stolen from a Hastings property. It would be tested for fingerprints and dna samples today.
"They've put something on the accelerator and ran it at the church causing substantial damage... It's just a reckless and costly thing to have done. You really have to wonder what goes through these peoples' minds," Sgt Gordon said.
- The Dominion Post