Home Youth service Teenage boy believed to be at center of week-long Christchurch crime spree faces 81 charges

Teenage boy believed to be at center of week-long Christchurch crime spree faces 81 charges

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A raid at Oak Village Food Mart, Halswell, in August was allegedly carried out by young people.

CHRIS SKELTON / Stuff

A raid at Oak Village Food Mart, Halswell, in August was allegedly carried out by young people.

A 14-year-old who faces 81 charges for allegedly cutting his bracelet and embark on a week-long crime spree was reprimanded by a youth court judge.

The boy appeared in Christchurch Youth Court on Monday before Judge Jane McMeeken.

His charges include assault with intent to injure, unlawful seizure of a motor vehicle, aggravated robbery and larceny, police confirmed.

Justice McMeeken’s message to young people on Monday morning was clear: “You are hurting people.

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“Why are you here again?… What did you think was going to happen when you cut your bracelet?” Judge McMeeken asked the boy.

She told him that if he continued to make bad decisions, he would be locked up for a long time.

“You are a good man. You have potential…you have to make something of yourself.

The boy’s father and stepmother were in court supporting him on Monday.

His arrest comes at a time when it is alleged child crime in Christchurch is at its highest level in nearly a decade.

Some of the teenager’s alleged crimes were caught on camera and posted on social media.

He was responsible for the theft of several cars and more than $1,000 in gasoline, the court heard.

“You have support in your corner and you have things going for you. I don’t understand why you want to be locked up, the judge said.

“You hurt people, it hurts people when you steal their cars. You are not stupid.

The judge said she and many others were “bewildered” by the boy’s alleged recent behavior.

Judge Jane McMeeken told the teenager she could not grant him bail because he

KIRK HARGREAVES / Stuff

Judge Jane McMeeken told the teenager she couldn’t grant him bail because he was “hurting too many people”.

A psychologist’s report was ordered, and no bail application was made because it was of no use.

“I couldn’t grant you bail today, you’re hurting too many people,” the judge said.

As Judge McMeeken took the boy into custody, she said, “I’d like you to think about why you made those choices.”

He will remain at the Te Puna Wai Juvenile Justice Residence until his next court appearance on November 14.

A staff member at Te Puna Wai told the judge the boy had been “pretty quiet” while in police custody.

PROVIDED

Offenders raided a dairy on Roberts St in Lincoln in August. (First published August 19, 2022)

In a statement, Christchurch Metro Commander Superintendent Lane Todd said police charged a 14-year-old with 81 counts following an investigation into a number of serious incidents.

Four young people were arrested, three on Thursday and after lengthy investigations, a fourth young person was arrested on Saturday morning.

They are believed to be responsible for a series of car thefts and muggings across the city.

A helicopter was used by police to help locate and arrest the 14-year-old in question, Todd said.

A member of the police personnel boarded the helicopter to help locate the attacker, who presented a “serious risk to [the] community and themselves.

“We are pleased to have quickly and fully addressed what has been a significant series of offenses by a small group of young people,” Todd said.

Christchurch Metro Commander Superintendent Lane Todd said four youths believed to be responsible for a host of car-related crimes and assaults in the city have been arrested.  (File photo).

Things

Christchurch Metro Commander Superintendent Lane Todd said four youths believed to be responsible for a host of car-related crimes and assaults in the city have been arrested. (File photo).

“However, it is difficult to see these apprehensions as anything other than an inevitable end to a story that began long before an offense was committed.”

Todd said it was rare to see young offenders coming “unannounced”, he encouraged communities to contact the police if they see concerning behavior among young people.

“In Christchurch, as in many centres, we run multi-agency programs to support wider whānau who are struggling with tamariki behavior issues.

“There are many factors driving youth delinquency, and a broad and focused approach is needed keeping whānau at the center of developing solutions.”

The police are working with partners, including Oranga Tāmariki and the Department of Justice, to crack down on drivers of young offenders.

“The role of the police is very clear: we have an obligation to the community, and we will respond, investigate, apprehend and hold people to account.