Crime Stoppers

Operation Pelion - Katherine

Tuesday 26-Feb-2019 09:21

Operation Pelion is in full swing in Katherine, with 35 unlawful entries investigated since its commencement on 4 February 2019.

Police officers have arrested 10 youths aged from 11 to 18, including five over the weekend in relation to a series of unlawful entries at three schools on Sunday morning.

It is alleged that the group was also responsible for a vehicle fire on Lockheed Street, with police observing them running from the fire. Apprehended after a short foot chase, the youths aged 11 – 13 were released for youth diversion in accordance with the Youth Justice Act.

A residential premises was also unlawfully entered on Sunday, with the offender gaining entry through an unlocked door before stealing two mobile phones and wallet. Police were able to recover both phones after the victim used the ‘Find My Phone’ app. No arrests were made at the request of the victim.

Earlier on Saturday night, unknown youths unlawfully entered a storage area at a club, stealing cans of spray paint and other items. The spray paint was used to graffiti property at the premises and a number of the cans are now undergoing forensic examination.

A takeaway outlet was also unlawfully entered, with offenders stealing ice creams, while two rooms at a training centre were unlawfully entered and had paint from paint tins strewn about inside the rooms and furniture upturned.

Superintendent of Katherine Daniel Shean said repeat victim engagement has highlighted that businesses are taking up the Northern Territory Government’s offer for grant money through Biz Secure.

“If businesses have not yet taken advantage of this offer, it is recommended that they do so,” Supt Shean said.

He also said that in addition to those 10 arrested, five youths had presented to the Katherine Police Station voluntarily and all were deemed suitable for Youth Diversion.

“A number of the youths had not been arrested before; this resulted in their DNA, fingerprints and photographs being obtained.

“Consequently, they were linked to further unlawful entries not previously cleared on account of the evidence obtained not having a match in the system.

“Where permissible and pursuant to the Youth Justice Act, youth offenders are placed on bail with curfew and non-association conditions.

“Regardless of an individual’s perception of the youth justice system, Katherine Police will continue to enforce the law and hold youths to account for their wrongdoings.

“A number of youth are still wanted for questioning. Some of them do not live in Katherine and Operation Pelion members will be travelling to deal with the persons of interest.”

Supt Shean reiterated the importance of communication within the community and engagement efforts by police.

“If police are not aware of issues, they cannot work toward reducing the issue so this is why we continue to engage with the public and encourage members of the community to report suspicious activity to police.”