Wānaka Sun       

Vandals strike throughout the district

Posted at 6:00am Friday 03 Jan, 2020 | By Francesca Maria Nespolo journalist@thewanakasun.co.nz

Vandals struck a Hāwea business on the night of December 28, or early hours of the 29th.  Mike Clark, owner of Clark's Autos Limited said, “There are seven windows smashed along the north side of the building. It happened late Saturday night/early Sunday morning. I have heard there was other damage done around Lake Hāwea the same night so maybe connected.” 

Thankfully Clark had emptied the workshop of equipment so he could repaint the floor and walls. “Unfortunately we have no idea who has done this,” he said. 

Police confirmed “We have [received] a complaint of property damage for the mechanic's in Hāwea and are aware of more damage around town.”

Social media has been littered with a few people reporting vandalism of letterboxes and car wing mirrors over the last week. There were also complaints of street signs on Ardmore Street being pulled out, plants removed and toilets damaged. 

One Wānaka resident contacted the Wānaka Sun to confirm he had reported vandalism to cars on December 30. “I rang up the non-emergency number on that morning of discovery of damage to vehicles and told would be a five-minute wait before I could complete a report for damage, so completed the form online.”

The Aubrey Road resident also said, “I also called the 111 number one night later [December 31] to report a big group of 15 to 17 year olds roaming down the street (lower Aubrey Road onto Beacon Point Road) pushing bins at 10.45pm, hitting cars and being very rowdy. The commotion got us, and three more houses of neighbours, out onto the street to shepherd them away...the police said they would dispatch a car to look into this.”

However, there is ambiguity about what reports Police have received and what what they haven't. A Police media spokesperson said, “I can't see any jobs like the one you reference that have been reported to Police —  nor can I see any other vandalism jobs reported on the same dates in Wānaka and the wider area.” 

Whilst social media was quick to blame tourists, there is no suggestion that these incidents are caused specifically by tourists or locals — a combination of both is likely. 

Police would encourage anyone who has information regarding these incidents to call 105.

If you witness an incident like this occurring or feel in danger please call 111 immediately.



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