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Vandals hit Waicol again

By Jake Beleski

[email protected]

Less than a month after their new cricket nets were ruined, vandals dealt Wairarapa College another cruel blow over Waitangi weekend.

Eighteen broken windows were discovered on Saturday morning, with a further seven being found yesterday morning when teachers arrived back from the holiday break.

The school’s asset manager, Mike Geenty, said the vandals had used stones, rocks and boulders, some of which were the size of small footballs.

“It looks like they’ve come in from the Cornwall St gate, and we have the alternative education building down there which used to be the old uniform shop.

“They broke six windows in there, then they’ve gone to the oval and they’ve done five windows in the cricket pavilion.

“They’ve continued on the diagonal and they’ve hit the northwest buildings of the school, and exited through the Pownall St gate.”

The vandals diagonal trek across the school had left “a trail of destruction” in their wake, he said.

The first broken windows were noticed by the school’s first XI cricketers when they turned up for their match on Saturday morning.

Some of them were classroom windows, meaning they had to be dealt with immediately.

Glaziers came in on the Saturday and secured the windows overnight, and then again on the Sunday to replace everything they could with the required laminated glass.

Vandalism was a constant problem at the school, but not usually on this scale, Mr Geenty said.

“Last weekend, there was the spray-painting of male genitals and one smashed window, but we haven’t had this number of windows smashed for quite some time.”

Some windows have had to be boarded up until the right glass arrived from Wellington, which could take “a couple more days”.

They were confident security footage had captured the vandals, but it was a matter of identifying them, he said.

“We have picked up one person at about 12.25am on Saturday on a cellphone.

“Then at 1.40am we have three guys on bikes and one on foot, and I would say they are most likely to be the culprits — they are all wearing hoodies and sunglasses.”

Efforts were being made to ensure vandalism at the school was stopped, with extra security measures being looked at.

“We are still in talks about that.

“We’re just finalising exactly what we’re going to do and how much it’s going to cost us . . . it’s been quite an expensive exercise during a holiday weekend.”

A Cornwall St resident said two cars on the street had been found with smashed windows the same night the school was vandalised, but it was unclear whether the events were related.

Senior Sergeant Mike Sutton confirmed police were looking into the incident, and said there had been another report of vandalism at the Solway Showgrounds where an office window had been smashed sometime over the weekend.

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