Youth gangs wreak town crime spree

A 17-year-old youth who robbed Anderson's Treasure Store was the laughing stock of Murwillumbah yesterday.

The youth got away with silverware in the early hours of Saturday but was later arrested when he returned to the crime scene to collect his shoe, which he had dropped earlier.

The break-in was part of a weekend rampage in Murwillumbah, which included three businesses having their windows smashed and two robberies.

Murwillumbah Police Sergeant Bill Henry said the 17-year-old was only arrested for one of the incidents.

“We're still looking for the other ones.

“We're doing scientific investigations, such as fingerprints,” he said.

“It was one of those wild nights in Murwillumbah.

“We hope it's not going to continue.”

Lawrence Anderson of Anderson's Treasure Store said the teenager used a brick to break his front window.

“He only got away with inexpensive silverware,” he said.

“As far as I know everything has been returned.”

Mr Anderson said the boy lost his shoe during the robbery and was arrested when he returned to get it.

“I think youth crime is a very big problem in Murwillumbah.

“I don't know what the answer is but I don't think there should be 100-odd people roaming the streets at night.”

Mr Anderson said he hoped the closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras being installed soon will help.

Owners of Video Ezy in Murwillumbah John and Jean King were also victims of Saturday morning's crime spree.

“The vandals smashed two panels of glass and dragged our mobile phone display case outside and smashed it open,” Mrs King said.

“When we got here on Saturday morning there was glass everywhere.”

The thieves also got away with a collection of DVDs.

“There are so many groups of youth out,” Mrs King said.

“We've had quite a few broken windows.

“I think they have gotten extremely worse.”

Mrs King said this is the second time their store has been broken into in the past 12 months.

“It's an incredible waste of my time.

“We've done 12 windows since we've been here, about five years.

“They cost about $2000 each in excess.”

In the 30 minutes it took police to arrive, Mr King said he witnessed various acts of anti-social behaviour.

“At 5.15am there were at least four different groups of youths,” he said.

“Two police officers just don't stand a chance.”

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