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Empty stolen bottles of wine in recycling bins led Dunedin police to the homes of teenagers accused of stealing a haul of booze.
"Basically, we followed the wine trail," Proactive policing team sergeant Chris McLellan said yesterday.
Last Thursday, police were called to a break-in at the Edgar Centre, from which a "reasonable quantity of wine" was stolen.
Sgt McLellan said the five youths involved appeared to have been drinking the stolen wine, and sharing it around their neighbourhood.
"As we started doing our inquiries, we came across the recycling bins, and all the evidence was out the front of their properties."
The first recycling bin was located on Prince Albert Rd, where police arrested two male teenagers at the St Kilda address.
Police later went to a Surrey St, South Dunedin, address and recovered more empty wine bottles, and arrested another youth.
Another two youths are still to be arrested, "but they know we are coming for them".
All five youths were not attending school or programmes. They were expected to appear in the Dunedin Youth Court.
Edgar Centre general manager Blair Crawford said the bottles were taken from a storage area, after a window was smashed to gain entry.
In total, 27 bottles of wine from Rockburn, Oyster Bay, and Roaring Meg wineries were taken.
"To be honest I never expected people to be caught, so I am very impressed."
No full bottles have been recovered.