Alice Springs police officers responded to a whopping 340 crime incidents over a 72-hour period over the weekend, averaging around five crimes an hour, with six youths picked up, but others remain on the loose.
On Saturday, three youths were arrested fleeing a stolen motor vehicle 25km north of Alice Springs on the Stuart Highway following a police foot chase into nearby scrubland.
Superintendent Tony Deutrom said different law enforcement agencies including the Southern Traffic Unit, Drone Operations, K9 Unit, general duties and Strike Force Viper coordinated a plan to stop the stolen motor vehicle after receiving a report of a fuel drive-off from Barrow Creek on Saturday afternoon.
The vehicle was stopped after a tyre deflation device was deployed. The youths occupying the stolen vehicle then fled into nearby scrubland.
Two males, aged 14 and 15-years-old, were arrested following a foot pursuit involving Police Patrol Dog Fitzy.
The third youth, a 15-year-old male, tried to evade police until he was located and arrested in the vicinity an hour later.
Drone footage also captured the two youths throwing rocks at the patrol dog during the chase.
Still on Saturday, another stolen vehicle was located flipped on its side and abandoned 150 metres from the Ali Curung Community.
Strike Force Viper said they arrested two 17-year-old males early Monday.
The youths were also wanted in relation to a series of unlawful entries in the Braitling Industrial area.
Another male wanted in relation to a series of property offences, including the Industrial area unlawful entries, was also arrested Monday afternoon.
Supt Deutrom said it was a trying weekend for police.
“It was a bad weekend with a lot of people either coming home or waking up to their home being unlawfully entered, and their property stolen,” he said.
“It is without a doubt one of the more gut-wrenching feelings to find out you’ve been broken into, and to those victims I am sorry that you’ve experienced that.”
He added that police will “continue to work hard to maintain a sense of safety within our community, and this weekend was no different.”
Investigations are ongoing into the 16 unlawful entries, three attempted unlawful entries and eight stolen motor vehicles – all of which have been recovered, which occurred during the weekend, he adds.
Last month, Alice Springs Town Council started offering self-defense classes for residents amid surging crime rates in the Central Australian town.