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Young offenders who robbed boy target second teenage victim

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Police responded to a violent incident at Botany Town Centre on April 9. Times file photo

Several youths who assaulted and robbed a teenager at an east Auckland shopping complex are understood to be in fresh trouble with police.

As the Times recently reported, a 13-year-old local boy was waiting for friends at Hoyts Cinemas at Botany Town Centre when he was attacked at about 11.55am on April 6.

The boy’s mother, who wants to remain anonymous, previously said her son was sitting inside the foyer when he was set upon by a group of youths in behaviour she labelled “disgusting”.

“[He was] assaulted, punched in the face, dragged across the floor of the Hoyts Botany movie theatre, kicked in the neck and had his shoes wrestled off his body by five youths … when going to watch a movie with his friends.”

The woman said security at the cinema did not phone police but did trespass the offenders and take photos of them to pass to police.

She phoned police when she arrived and was told one of the offenders left the scene wearing the shoes stolen from her son.

He’d been given the Nike Air Jordan shoes as a Christmas present and was left “traumatised” following the assault and robbery, she said.

Counties Manukau East Police area prevention manager, Inspector Rakana Cook, said one person received minor injuries in the incident and did not require medical treatment.

“Police located the group of offenders a short time later in Beachlands and they were taken into custody without issue.

“A 15-, 14-, and 11-year-old were referred to Youth Aid.

“We understand how distressing incidents like these can be for victims and their whanau and we want to reassure our community we take these situations very seriously.”

Cook said east Auckland is a “vibrant community” and police understand the public’s concerns.

“Police continue to utilise all tools available to hold youth offending accountable as part of the Youth Justice system.

“We will continue to identify interventions and build collaborative relationships that will help this community grow and experience continued reductions in crime.”

The Times has since been told by a local parent the group of offenders who assaulted and robbed the teenage boy of his shoes were back at Botany Town Centre in search of new victims on April 9.

A photo taken of the alleged offenders speaking to police shows two young people who look identical to members of the group involved in the attack on the boy at the cinema on April 6.

A woman who knows the latest victim’s mother says the teenage boy was waiting to be picked up from the town centre when he was approached.

The group of offenders demanded his watch and phone. He wouldn’t hand them over and was then punched and kicked, she says.

The boy managed to get free of his attackers and ran away but was left grazed and bruised and “shaken up”.

In response to the latest incident on April 9, Cook says four people were arrested and referred to Youth Aid Services.

“At around 6pm, police responded to a report of an alleged assault and theft at Botany Town Centre.

“No one was injured and the property was recovered and returned to the owner.

“A 15-year-old, two 14-year-olds and a 13-year-old were referred to Youth Aid.

“Police are aware of this group’s offending and are continuing to utilise all tools available in order to hold youth offending accountable as part of the Youth Justice system.

“We want to reassure our community we take these situations very seriously.”

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