Car park thefts 'heartache' for Wintec students
A band of drunken thieves inflicted damage, stress and heartache on students in the midst of year-end tests and all they had to say for themselves was ''she's right bro''.
The culprits smashed rear windows of about 15 cars at the Wintec Student Village on Collingwood St just after 11pm on Tuesday. They took everything from $5 sunglasses to iPads and a laptop, but Hamilton Police and search dogs hunted the offenders down after a 111 call.
Officers arrested four people at the scene - three males and one female aged 14, 16, 17 and 20.
It was blow to the students who are facing end of year exams and assessments.
First-year early education students Toni Thompson, 18 and Kendall Searle, 19, were among the victims. Ms Searle's 1991 white Nissan Sentra had its back window smashed and it was ''such a pain in the ass'', she said.
''They took my jumper leads with our home address on it, a wind-up torch, and they took sunnies - I mean why would you take sunnies? They're like $5.''
Ms Kendall called the offenders ''scum''.
''We're students, you can tell we live here. We can't afford s*** and now we have to pay for our cars.''
Residential manager Bob Anderson said the thieves were drunk and had greeted students passing through the car park warmly earlier in the evening.
''Some of the girls were in tears because they didn't know what they're going to do. It's the damage and heartache they caused and they're just like, 'She's right bro. She's right'.''
Mr Anderson said the incident also tarnished a ''great'' afternoon celebrating the village's 30th anniversary.
''These kids are working hard trying to improve their life, trying to get an education and some little s*** comes along and does that to them - that's what pisses me off.''
It appeared the offenders were using one of the cars as a storage bin and were loading it with goods stolen from other vehicles, shift manager Senior Sergeant Mike Underwood said.
Studying some of the basics of crime prevention could improve people's chances of not becoming a victim of opportunist thieves, he said.
"The old adage is lock it or lose it, if you can't take your laptop, iPad, camera or phone out of your car then lock it away out of site. But really, if you take the time to secure it in the boot, what's the difference with taking it back to your flat?''
- © Fairfax NZ News
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