Teen arrested after Ashburton thefts

Last updated 17:05 04/08/2014

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A teenager has appeared in court while his alleged co-offender remains at large after a spree of thefts, break-ins and arson in Ashburton's CBD at the weekend.

Senior Sergeant Scott Banfield said having extra police staff at his disposal on Saturday night had been key to catching a 17-year-old who was one of two teenagers believed to be responsible for five thefts from cars, setting a car alight, the burglary of an East St sports shop and an attempted burglary of the Baring Square Church.

Banfield said the teen appeared in the Ashburton District Court today on burglary and unrelated drugs charges. He was remanded on bail.

Further charges are likely to follow.

Banfield said police received reports of the thefts from cars from 10pm on Saturday, before they were alerted to a broken window at the Baring Square Church and a nearby car that was ablaze about 1am on Sunday.

The offenders then fled to an outdoor sports shop a few hundred metres away in East St, where they were disturbed about 1.30am. One teenager had been spotted by a local security firm running towards the Ashburton Domain, he said.

Police acted on that information and set up a "box format" cordon in the area, where they closed in to arrest the teenager. He was found with hunting knives and air pistols from the sports shop, Banfield said.

He was later found in possession of other items from previous offences that night, he said.

"With the second offender, we are pretty happy to say we know who he is, it's just a matter of locating him or him coming to us."

Banfield said having extra staff on at the weekend had paid dividends.

"Basically, we had an extra car working on the weekend which makes a huge difference. We had three cars immediately available to jobs which increases our ability to apprehend offenders," he said.

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