Four teens arrested after house trashed in wild North Melbourne party

 theage.com.au  5/18/2018 2:50:07 AM 

He did not say whether the teens had been on bail at the time of the party, whether they were connected with the stolen credit cards used to book the property, or whether their finger prints and DNA were on the damaged cars.

He also denied those involved were part of a gang.

"No, they are youth, they have friendship groups, communities, they are linked in many ways. Offending is just one way they are linked," he said.

The African-Australian community taskforce assisted police in their investigation, acting Commander Clayton said.

Four other people have been arrested and charged with criminal damage in relation to another, similarly wild, party at a rental property in Footscray on May 7, where homeowner Kelly watched helplessly as her home was trashed, with windows smashed and furniture – including a television – hurled onto the street.

Another arrest is expected this afternoon in relation to the Footscray incident and some stolen property has been recovered.

Acting Commander Clayton said police had reassessed the way officers respond to wild parties at rental properties.

"We've provided some advice to our members, we've consulted interally and sought some additional legal advice around police powers and we have provided enhanced response to our members and provided guidance about what our powers are and what we can do," he said.

Police will now work with the government to see whether any legislative changes are needed to assist them in controlling disruptive parties.

Mobile phones and a laptop were also seized by police during Friday's raids.

The party at a townhouse on Shands Lane in North Melbourne spiralled out of control in the early hours of April 29.

Police were called to the property at about 2am to respond to several noise complaints, and evicted the young people inside.

Some of the party-goers then threw chunks of wood and rubbish over the fence at the officers, who took shelter inside the home.

Police emerged from the property several minutes later to find four police cars – parked on a nearby street – had been significantly damaged, with the windscreens and mirrors smashed, and boot marks on the bonnet.

The home had been rented through Booking.com and the stay was being managed by property management company Roomerang. The original booking was for five people.

But police said up to 50 youths, mainly of African appearance, showed up to the party and neighbours began to complain about the noise.

It was the second party at the property in a fortnight.

Senior Sergeant Adam Tanner said at the time a number of items were stolen from the property, including a television, and there was damage to the walls.

North Melbourne Crime Investigation Unit detectives with the assistance of Echo Task Force executed the search warrants across Melbourne.

More to come. 

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