Wild ride in weapons-filled car lands teens in court

Four Invercargill teens are facing serious charges or Youth Aid referrals after an alleged burglary and car theft dash in a weapons-laden vehicle around the lower South Island.

Sergeant Steve Watt, of Queenstown, said the teens, a couple aged 18 and another couple - a 16-year-old boy and his 18-year-old girlfriend - were stopped by police after attempting to evade a patrol about 1.30am yesterday.

The teens' saga, and the raft of charges they are now facing, unfolded after questioning.

"The couple, both aged 18, had been employed on an Ashburton dairy farm for one week when they allegedly decided to go to another worker's farm cottage, commit a burglary, steal his car, drive to Invercargill to pick up some mates and then ended up in Queenstown," Mr Watt said.

The car was loaded with machetes and knives, adding possession of offensive weapons to a list of charges that include burglary, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, obstruction, driving while disqualified, attempting to evade police and failing to answer District Court bail conditions.

"I don't think they'll be welcome back on the farm. The theft included a laptop computer and Xbox from a work colleague, who I don't think will be a work mate any more," Mr Watt said.

On appearing before Judge Kevin Phillips in Queenstown District Court yesterday morning Brendan Paul Wilson and Janelle Savage both 18, were both remanded to appear in Invercargill District Court this week. Judge Phillips said Savage had failed to appear at an early August sentencing hearing in Invercargill.

On his appearance in the dock, Wilson was immediately told to unfold his arms and "wipe that smile off your face".

He had not turned up to a Christchurch status hearing and was described by Judge Phillips as "being on the run from the Christchurch court."

The 16-year-old was referred to Youth Aid on a charge of unlawfully getting into a motor vehicle, while his 18-year-old girlfriend was charged with the same offence.

Wilson will appear in Invercargill District Court tomorrow and Savage will appear on Friday.


The Southland Times