Damaged car adds to owner's pain

LAURA BASHAM
Last updated 13:00 13/11/2012
 	 Kirsty Cameron
PATRICK HAMILTON/Fairfax NZ

SHATTERED: Kirsty Cameron, of Nelson, was not impressed when vandals smashed her car window recently.

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A smashed car windscreen capped off a horrible week for Nelson woman Kirsty Cameron and she wants the culprits to know that.

The Motueka St resident was woken by a call from the police at 3.30am on Saturday, telling her that a patrol had found her Nissan Primera parked on the road with its back window smashed in.

Hers was not the only car damaged. Glass repairer Smith & Smith had another car owner from the same street come in for windscreen repairs from the same night, and reports there has been a spate of car vandalism.

Worse off was a car in the Broadgreen Intermediate School car park in Stoke, which had been stomped on and badly damaged.

Ms Cameron struggles to find words to describe how she felt seeing her car.

"It's like - seriously? It's happened in the same week I lost my uncle. Our dog got into the neighbour's chickens and we had to give him away.

"I had to spend $600 - my last savings - on fixing the car radiator and had just got it back, and this was just the cherry on top of a horrible cake. I might have handled it better if it hadn't already been an awful week.

"It's so frustrating. I was a hooligan, but I never damaged other people's property. They have no idea of the repercussions."

The 26-year-old vented her disgust on Facebook, saying they were "a young family with very little money just trying to get ahead and make a life for ourselves in Nelson".

She said she was disgusted and asked anyone who knew anything to contact the police.

She has just got a job with the YMCA's afterschool programme and voluntarily teaches hip hop at Hampden Street School, which her 6-year-old son attends, and her partner studies full time.

She is thankful she has insurance to pay for a new windscreen.

Glass repairs vary, but it costs about $600 for a replacement car windscreen. "They have no idea what that can do to a family."

She believes the culprits are likely to be young adults, since it happened after bar closing times.

"I'm 26. I know how to have fun without destroying property."

The vandalism of the car in the Broadgreen car park happened in the middle of the day.

Carolyn White said teenage boys jumped on the bonnet of her Peugeot car and smashed the front windscreen three weeks ago.

"I was just quite shocked and it's really inconvenient, because I live in Riwaka," she said.

The panelbeater lent her a car to get to work and she has had to pay $800 insurance excess for the repairs.

While she did not see the attack, pupils at the school saw two boys running away and joining a group hanging out by the railway reserve. "The children were incensed," she said.

Ms White, who is a learning and behaviour resource teacher, is relieved that they were not children she works with.

"I'm philosophical. Boys will be boys and show off. It's probably just a craze, but it needs to be stopped."

She said the police were investigating.

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- The Nelson Mail

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