A Kawakawa school has again been hit by thieves with a van taken from Bay of Islands College then abandoned behind the freezing works in Moerewa.

The latest theft took place after 10pm on Saturday night. After a series of vehicle thefts last year, all Bay College and Kawakawa Primary School vans are locked inside at night or stored at trustees' homes.

In this case, however, the thieves forced their way into a college garage before making off with the van, which was clearly painted with the school's name.

It was reportedly seen driving erratically in Kawakawa about 10.15pm and again in Moerewa around 4.20am.


Senior Sergeant Brian Swann, of Mid North police, said CCTV from a number of locations showed the offenders were a group of four teenage boys wearing hoodies. They were also seen at Opua Marina, another hotspot for vehicle thefts.

Inquiries to identify the youths were continuing.

A week earlier another vehicle had been taken from the kura kaupapa on Station Rd in Moerewa.

Mr Swann urged Mid Northerners to make extra sure their vehicles were secure and no valuables were left in sight. He also asked people to call the police if they saw people or vehicles that seemed out of place, there was no way, for example, a 16 or 17-year-old boy would have a licence allowing him to drive at night with three passengers.

Late last year Kawakawa schools were hit by a spate of vehicle thefts. Two vans belonging to Kawakawa Primary were stolen and torched within two weeks; another was stolen from the college. Both schools also suffered repeated vandalism.

Three people were arrested and charged in relation to offences at the schools, Kawakawa Bowling Club and various Mid North businesses between September and December 2015.

- Call Mid North police on (09) 405 2960 with information.