Two youths jointly charged with 13 offences

Two 16-year-old youths have been arrested in Queenstown and jointly charged with 13 offences following a series of thefts from houses and vehicles.

Sergeant Steve Watt said the pair were arrested ''on site'' at 9.30pm on Wednesday after police spoke to the owners of a local business.

The youths appeared in the Youth Court in Queenstown yesterday on charges of burglary (three), wilful damage (one), theft from cars (five) and unlawfully interfering with a vehicle (four).

Sgt Watt said police usually would not arrest youths, but ''given the amount and sheer volume of crime it was necessary''.

The pair had been targeting unlocked cars in Fernhill and Closeburn, looking for cash and small items which they could then sell to ''unsuspecting members of the public'', Sgt Watt said.

Stolen items, including clothing, had been retrieved, with the help of the mother of one of the youths, he said.

Further charges were possible.