Kiddie car thieves in Waikato crime spree

Last updated 11:28 20/01/2014

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A group of Auckland teenagers face a raft of charges in court today following a crime spree in the Waikato over the weekend.

The five 14-year-olds allegedly stole a car in Auckland on Saturday afternoon and travelled down to Hamilton, Detective Senior Sergeant Ross Patterson of the Hamilton CIB said. 

"They have then stolen a number of cars and taken them back to Auckland taking property from these vehicles in the process,'' he said.

Officers tried to stop the group in one of the vehicles in Hamilton as it headed north on Saturday night but the driver refused to stop and fled at speed.

Mr Patterson said the pursuit was abandoned due to the driver's high speed.

A Huntly unit spotted the vehicle a short time later and followed it until the offenders ran out of petrol.

"Additional staff were brought in and the group were apprehended without incident,'' Mr Patterson said.

Three of the group were placed in secure care while two were released to their parents.

All five will appear in the Hamilton Youth Court today. All five are facing seven charges of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, four thefts from car charges and one of attempted unlawful taking of a motor vehicle. One boy also faces reckless driving and failing to stop charges.

Mr Patterson said further investigations are continuing and police haven't ruled out further charges.

"At this point police would like to reiterate the need for parents, guardians and caregivers to be aware of where your charges are at all times and if you need help to seek it before young people come to the attention of police."

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