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Waihi Police are hoping the arrest of several teenagers following the trashing of a house belonging to a family who were away on holiday in Fiji to escape a year from hell will go some way in giving comfort to the victims.
Sub-Area Manager, Senior Sergeant Rex Knight, said neighbours had alerted Police to the burglary that took place sometime between 23-29 April.
"The couple and their five children had gone to Fiji to try and escape a trying year where the family had lost three loved ones but on their return they found their home, which they had been renovating, had been completely trashed.
"Nail polish, eggs, sauces and oils had been smeared across walls, bedding and clothing while the contents of every drawer, wardrobe and cupboard were strewn throughout the house and offensive messages were written on walls."
Other damage to the family's home included flour burned in the microwave, a large hole made in the lounge wall and sofas and paintings slashed with a knife while the family's fridge and freezer had been left open with the contents starting to decay which released a stench throughout the house.
Mr Knight said media coverage of the burglary had created a sense of revulsion in the local community towards those responsible and it wasn't long before Police were following strong leads.
"As a result of this support and some excellent investigative work officers carried out searches of five Waihi properties on Monday resulting in the arrest of one 15-year-old male who has been charged with burglary and intentional damage and he will appear in the Waihi Youth Court tomorrow (Thurs).
"In addition three Waihi boys aged 13, 12 and 11-years-old were arrested and referred to Youth Aid for follow up action while further enquiries into the involvement of another male are continuing."
Mr Knight said the arrests reflected the strong sense of community that exists in Waihi and showed residents had zero tolerance towards such behaviour.
"Offenders need to be aware that if they become involved in such objectionable behaviour that they will be held accountable to their community."