IT took three youths just six minutes to cause about $5000 worth of damage to a Tamworth shopping centre’s glass doors at the weekend.
Three boys, all believed to be under 14 years old, were seen on CCTV footage causing the damage to The Atrium shopping centre’s rear exit on Sunday afternoon.
The Atrium’s owners are confident they’ll be caught by police but say they’re frustrated the law probably won’t hold them accountable for the “brazen” crime.
The Atrium managing director Bruce Read said the youths hid in the centre’s toilets and made a mess before venturing into the arcade on their scooters and throwing rocks at each other and the glass.
Mr Read consulted security camera footage with police yesterday to identify those responsible and spotted three young boys looking directly at one of the internal security cameras.
Mr Read has described their behaviour as both “brazen” and “idiotic.”
“All three were just staring at the camera,” he said.
About 5.30pm on Sunday, the young vandals completely shattered one of the main automatic doors, buckling the frames, and smashed the emergency exit glass.
Discount variety store Wayne’s World had just closed at 5pm.
The youths are thought to have taken the window of opportunity between then and 6pm, when maintenance teams arrived to clean the centre, to throw rocks at the glass and make their getaway shortly after.
Shattered glass littered the tiled floor before it was removed and wooden boards have been put in place until new glass arrives.
The broken security glass from the main door is believed to have cost about $3000 alone and the new glass will take about 10 days to arrive from Newcastle.
Mr Read said it was unfair the offenders would probably just receive a caution over the incident, due to their young age.
“There needs to be a three strikes and you’re out policy ... I can’t understand why it isn’t implemented,” he said.
Mr Read said there was little landlords and business owners could do, but luckily, such incidents were not common in the centre.
“It’s the first incident in eight or nine months but I know of other centres in town that haven’t been so lucky,” he said.
Mr Read said the incident hadn’t affected the trading hours of the arcade’s stores.
Police are now in the process of identifying the youths.