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Police said they received a phone call from someone who saw a group of four or five people jumping on a parked car.
The caller initially said they thought the group were gang members, but later said to ignore that, as they had only "looked like a gang'', a spokeswoman said.
Instead the caller thought they were a group of students
When the Otago Daily Times arrived at the scene this afternoon police were leaving, and the group was standing sheepishly around a red sedan.
They rejected a suggestion a gang damaged their car.
They said the car was not warranted and soon for the scrap yard, and suggested they had done the damage.