Vandals slash tyres of 30 vehicles in Greymouth
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Vandals slashed the tyres of at least 30 vehicles in the Greymouth central business district overnight, and ripped up the turf at two sports fields.
West Coast Rugby League officials were on the warpath after the damage caused to Hargreaves Park, at Karoro, and Jellyman Park, at Cobden.
Outside the Greymouth Railway Station a single tyre was stabbed on seven rental vehicles belonging to Avis, Europe Car and Thrifty.
Across town between six and 12 vehicles each at Grey Ford, Coast Toyota and the Greymouth Car Centre had a single tyre stabbed.
Senior sergeant Paul Watson said several other private vehicles parked across town were also targeted - including some in the Greymouth Police Station yard.
"We had a couple of vehicles targeted; nowhere near what's gone on around the place," Watson said.
"Certainly members of the public and businesses have been absolutely hammered."
The vandalism was "abhorrent", he said.
"At the moment we've got staff out talking to the victims, dealing with these complaints.
"We have a reasonable idea who is responsible ... we just need to gather that evidence to firm (it) up."
Watson urged individuals and businesses to check today and report any other vandalism straight away. Police are particularly interested in security camera footage shot by businesses or residents in the central Greymouth area - particularly where cameras ranged over public footpaths and parking areas.
Watson said police believed a link was possible to reported vandalism earlier this week of the Strongman Mine Memorial and other incidents, including hoons driving over the rugby league fields.
Meanwhile, a 26-year-old Greymouth man stopped shortly after 1am this morning blew a massive 1200mg.
Mr Watson said inquiries into the vehicle involved were ongoing, with a possible link to some of the vandalism.
Suburbs Rugby League Club president Brad Tacon was angry at discovering this morning that Hargreaves Park, the club's playing field, had been driven over for the second time in two days.
"There are some idiots out there with nothing better to do," Tacon said.
The second incident last night was worse than the vandalism on Monday night.
The offender had to drive through a drain and over rocks to get onto the paddock.
"We have just spent $90,000 on developing the playing field and this is what happens."
The field was repairable, "but the kids are going to have to stay off it for a bit while we fix it up".
West Coast Rugby League development officer Paddy Byrne arrived at Jellyman Park this morning to set up for a primary schools' league tournament, only to find both fields had been torn up.
"The people responsible are ruining things for everyone else and this kind of behaviour is totally unnecessary," Byrne said.
Cobden-Kohinoor Rugby League Club schoolboy league president Tony Gurden said the committee had met only last night at the clubrooms to discuss fencing the whole area off to avoid exactly what had then happened overnight.
"We were at the grounds until around 9 o'clock last night, so whoever vandalised the fields came after we were well and truly gone," Gurden said.
"There are some idiots out there, and those who did it won't be the ones who are using the fields."
- Greymouth Star