A scene of devastation greeted staff and students at Whangaparaoa College on Friday morning (September 2).
An overnight vandalism spree had taken place, with around 37 windows smashed with hammers.
It was the sound of breaking glass that alerted neighbours, who contacted Police. Officers were quickly on the scene: Principal James Thomas says that the first window was broken at 4.48am and by 5.06am Police were there.
Nearby areas of Whangaparaoa were hit the same night, including the Raiders clubrooms in Stanmore Bay, bus shelters and the Hibiscus Coast Community RSA in Vipond Road.
Mr Thomas says the damage at the school was horrible to see and upset staff and students. “It looked as though there had been a lot of crazy running around smashing as many windows as possible,” he says. “Our students take pride in the school and they are asking why anyone would do this. We are in good heart though and will get through it. I’m grateful that no one was hurt and none of our treasures were damaged.”
Teachers took to Facebook to describe how heartbreaking it was to find the damage.
A glazier is hard at work and security has been beefed up at the college.
Security camera footage has been invaluable and police are actively investigating. Their forensic specialist spent the morning taking fingerprints as well as swabs of blood found on the glass and concrete, at Raiders’ clubrooms, the RSA and College.
Alcohol was stolen from the RSA and manager Adrian Martin says a stocktake had just been done, so it was clear exactly what had been taken.
Camera footage from inside the RSA clearly shows six burglars at work; some were wearing comic masks.
Police said this afternoon that they have made arrests in respect of the significant damage to Whangaparaoa College, a public phone box and a bus stop in Stanmore Bay as well as the burglary of the Silverdale RSA.
Snr Sgt Steve Pivac of Orewa Police says that two local men aged 17 and 18 have been charged and Police are following strong lines of enquiry that may result in other people also being charged with these crimes.
“If any member of the public can offer any assistance to the investigation of these events that took place between midnight and 5am this morning, please contact the Orewa police anonymously,” Snr Sgt Pivac says.
Updates will be linked to this story.