VANDALS who jumped the high fence at Sorrento Early Learning Centre’s playground last week broke into the storage shed and “generally got into mischief”, Sorrento Community Centre manager Heather Barton said.
“They were throwing stuff around, removing the bikes and riding them around the car park – where they were in danger of being hit by cars, I’m told – destroying stuff and using seats as Frisbees.”
Ms Barton said she saw a picture of one of the youths skylarking on the centre’s new shade sails which had only recently been installed following “lots of fundraising”.
“That’s a very dangerous business – especially when we know that two other kids have been killed doing this very activity,” she said.
“We’re attempting to trace the kids through Sorrento Primary School, however, while some of them were of primary school age others definitely looked older.”
Two women who had parked out front to do their shopping took pictures, Saturday 20 October.
Paige McGinley described the incident as “terrible”. “We saw eight kids jump the fence and use the shade sail as a trampoline so it is probably ripped and torn,” she said.
“They were hurling things around and showing a complete lack of respect. They smashed three-legged stools and chased each other with the legs and stole tricycles and raced each other onto the road. Cars were stopping and tooting.
“When we saw it escalating like Lord of the Flies we rang Sorrento and Rosebud police but got no answers. Then, when we thought they would fall through the shade cloth and hit their heads we rang triple zero.”
Finally, after almost 50 minutes, police from Hastings called to say they were on their way. “It was a complete waste of police resources,” Ms McGinley said.
“What vandals are going to wait around all that time for the police to arrive.”
She said the boys were wearing “typical skate gear and hoodies”.
The incident has been referred to Sorrento and Rosebud police stations.
“It would be great if we could alert parents to this danger,” Ms Barton said.
Rosebud police were contacted for comment.