Car joke's over, culprits warned

 A cyclist navigates around a car in Heriot Row yesterday morning after it was lifted out of its car park. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.It seems cars with smashed windows or vehicles moved from their parks into the middle of the street are becoming common sights in Dunedin's City Rise.

But Acting Senior Sergeant Damion Rangitutia has warned the joke is over, and police and residents were keeping an eye on the area in a bid to catch the culprit(s).

Acting Snr Sgt Rangitutia said several residents had complained their cars had been damaged - most had their windows smashed and one had its ignition tampered with.

And yesterday, Heriot Row residents woke to find a red Honda City Turbo had been moved out of its car park and on to the road.

A man who works in the area, Ken Buchanan, said he believed the damage was being caused by students.

''It's nothing more than a student prank.

''My plumber was here the other day and someone threw a rock through the back window of his van.

''They don't take anything - they are just out to create as much damage as possible.''

Mr Buchanan said the latest prank - moving the parked car on to the street - had created a potential death trap.

The vehicle had been left on the brow of a hill, and vehicles had to swerve into the path of oncoming traffic to go around it, without knowing what was coming over the hill from the opposite direction, he said.

''It's just plain dangerous.

''I feel sorry for the owner of the car because it was unwarranted and unregistered, and now he'll get a huge fine.''

The car was later removed by the Dunedin City Council.

Acting Snr Sergeant Rangitutia asked residents to contact Dunedin police if they noticed any suspicious activity in the City Rise area.

-john.lewis@odt.co.nz

Not a prank

Smashing windscreens and tampering with an ignition is not a prank regardless of who did it. It is vandalism. Was the person tampering with the ignition trying to get it started to drive it off? That is theft or at the very least displays the intention of doing so.

What about the person who had their car moved out of a car park and onto the street.

''I feel sorry for the owner of the car because it was
unwarranted and unregistered, and now he'll get a huge
fine.''

So if his car had remained in its car park then he wouldn't have got one? Is this someone at the council seeing an opportunity for revenue gathering???

Pranksters

Everlast notes something that disturbs me too: putting 'the words “prank” and “student” together to minimise the offences that have been committed'.  Funny the way unemployed youths who interfere with cars and damage private property never seem to be 'high spirited young pranksters' whose chances of future employment should be protected by diversion.

Prank!

It should never be said it was a "prank" as that implies it was a practical joke, what is happening is not a joke by any means. Whether it is students or not it makes no difference at all.....it is criminal damage and not a prank. I have noticed it is becoming coming to put the words “prank” and “student” together to minimise the offences that have been committed, have even seen it a lot in the court news. It is what it is … totally unlawful.

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