VIDEO: Vandalism spree linked to illegal drinking in park
CHILDREN under 10, possibly on the drug ice, are breaking into houses and smashing windows in South Grafton shops claim business owners and residents.
A co-owner of South Grafton News and Gifts, Brad Layton, said CCTV footage of the latest attack on his shop showed three separate attacks, mostly involving children in their teens and younger.
And a nearby resident said police have told her a child of nine, known to them, could be a suspect in the theft of her $10,000 engagement ring, stolen from her house before Christmas.
Mr Layton said the damage to the front window of the newsagency began at 6.30pm on Australia Day when one of a trio of young people walking down the street began kicking the window.
He was able to identify the ring leader and his accomplices from CCTV footage.
But the action did not stop there. Yesterday at 6.34pm two girls aged about nine rode up to the shop on scooters, which they used to continue smashing the window.
One of the children stole some of the crystals on display in the window.
Two hours later three teenage girls started to break into the window to get at the merchandise inside.
Mr Layton said one of the girls cut herself on the broken glass as she attempted to get through the window and might have required medical attention.
Mr Layton said there have been six attacks on South Grafton businesses since Christmas.
Police have the CCTV footage of the attacks.
He said CCTV images on Facebook had created a positive response.
"I've had around 120 direct messages from people who say they know the identity of the people," he said.
He linked the rise in vandalism and thefts to a rise in the number of people gathering in the park to drink, despite it being an alcohol free area.
"All the people drinking in the park draw these sorts of people to that area," he said.
"You get children coming here, without any supervision and these sorts of things are happening."
He knows of a boy, aged seven to nine, he describes as "uncontrollable", who could be on ice.
"People have told me he's addicted to ice," Mr Layton said. "He needs to be removed into care."