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Rural Neighbourhood Support ensure arrest of offenders
9 June 2008, Hawkes Bay Today

Alert neighbours help end teens' trail of mayhem

A trail of motoring mayhem created by three Flaxmere teenagers during the weekend came to an end due to the efforts of a rural Neighbourhood Support group in the Dartmoor region joining forces with police to round the trio up.

Police became aware something was up late on Saturday when a patrol spotted a green Subaru Legacy with no registration plates driving toward Napier on State Highway 5.

Senior Sergeant Andy Sloane said the highway patrol officer pursued the car but backed off the chase after the Subaru, which accelerated to speeds of 60km/h, glanced into another vehicle.

Police moved into the area and the car, believed to have been stolen from Hastings earlier, was found abandoned behind a shed on a Soldier's Settlement Rd property off Glengarry Rd.

There was no sign of the group despite cordons being set up and a dog team being called in.

But just after 10am, the following day a Dartmoor resident called to say three teenagers had been spotted walking along a road.

They had asked another resident for directions to Hastings. Locals kept the group in sight while police were contacted, and the teens were rounded up and spoken to.

``They were pretty cold after a night out,' Mr Sloane said.

Inquiries then revealed the green Subaru had been involved in a petrol drive-off from a Tamatea service station early on Saturday.

A green Subaru had also been reported as driving off from a petrol station in Te Puke, south of Tauranga, later on Saturday - and again at Taupo.

Only one of the group, an 18-year-old female, had been charged at this stage, with three counts of theft ex-car. Her 14 and 16-year-old male companions had been referred to Youth Aid.

``This was great work by the rural support network up that way,' Mr Sloane said.

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