Teens caught burgling house amid evacuations

The teens have been referred to youth justice. File photo.

Three teenagers are being referred to youth justice after being caught stealing from a house in Whakatane amid mass tsunami evacuations.

Residents were forced to head to the hills on Friday morning, following a 8.1 magnitude earthquake in the Kermadec Island region which triggered a tsunami warning in New Zealand.

A police spokesperson says officers located two 15-years-olds and one 16-year-old on Olympic Drive at 2.30pm following a burglary.

The spokesperson says the teenagers were picked up and returned to their parents, and will be referred to youth justice.

Meanwhile, a fire which razed a Whakatane house on Friday morning remains under investigation.

Photo. Christel Yardley/Stuff.

The home caught fight just after residents fled to higher ground.

Three fire crews attended the fire on Goulstone Road, behind Whakatane High School.

"There were no injuries," says northern fire communications shift manager Mark Richards.

"Three fire trucks attended the scene and the fire was brought under control after about half an hour."

There is no indication as to a cause and a fire investigator is looking into the matter. 

-Additional reporting Stuff/Ellen O'Dwyer.

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Posted on 06-03-2021 12:18 | By hapukafin

are wet bus tickets still being handed out?