Sunday, April 19, 2009

Vandals ravage motel room

Most of us have been a victim of crime and when you are a motelier it's going to happen to you sooner or later.

It is frustrating dealing with the damage and mayhem left behind by seemingly untouchable criminals that appear to do what they want without consequence. We can appreciate that the cost to repair the damage, the time taken and the opportunity-cost of lost business is huge.

The icing on the cake for the hapless moteliers in this story is a police error that meant they were unable to respond earlier. This is most unfortunate, as the police generally work well with moteliers and have a mutually effective relationship.

This is a good opportunity for the local grouping of moteliers to meet with police and discuss how they can assist one another in cracking down on low lifes.

We are impressed with the initiative of the motel's manager that is doing his own sleuth work. He is trying to identify graffiti tags left behind by the low life vandals by interacting with young street kids and offering a reward. Now the trail has gone cold, we hope he is successful!

Manawatu Standard

Palmerston North moteliers are fuming police did not act sooner after teenage boys trashed one of their rooms, causing $10,000 worth of damage.

Supreme Motor Lodge owners Steve and Liz Donnelly called police on Thursday afternoon after a guest saw four vandals, allegedly aged 8 to 14, jump back over a concrete wall.

But, after 24 hours, police still hadn't turned up and the guest who saw the faces of the culprits had left town, Mr Donnelly said.

He was told only one police car was on duty and they had more urgent matters to attend.

Police rang Mr Donnelly at 1am Friday and told him they were still unable to make it as they were dealing with drunk people.

Mr Donnelly called Central District commander Russell Gibson yesterday afternoon.

Soon after the phone call a constable arrived at the motel.

"Forensics attended first thing this morning and we have lifted a number of finger prints," Mr Gibson said. He put the delay down to human error, not low-staffing issues.

"I'm clearly embarrassed by this ... it's not that we didn't have people available, it's the fact that some where in the process there has been a slip up."

Mr Gibson said he would look into what went wrong and make sure it never happened again.

Smashed wine glasses and light bulbs covered the bathroom and kitchen floors of the hotel room, bedding and towels were crumpled on the floors, a brand new dining chair was broken and grass clippings scattered on the kitchen bench had been set on fire.

The spa pool and cover were also damaged.The kids had been in the room for a few hours but double-glazed windows meant nobody was alerted to the noise, motel manager Malcolm Glen said. He believes this attack was by the same group who broke into the games room three weeks ago.A spa pool was wrenched out of the ground, the games room was wrecked and a television and DVD player were stolen. And at the beginning off this week a $1500 water blaster was stolen.

The motel does not have contents insurance because it is too expensive.

It would take a week to get the room ready for guests.

They were planning to install more security cameras and lights, Mr Glen said.

Mr Glen took a hairdryer that was tagged by the vandals to show kids at the Highbury shops and park.

He offered a $200 reward to anyone who tells him who the tags belong to.

Source: Click HERE

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