7-year-old among kids trying to rob Hamilton mall

Four children, including one as young as seven, were caught trying to steal from a Hamilton shopping mall overnight.

Police said they were alerted to the break-in at Chartwell Shopping Center after multiple alarms went off around 1am.

They arrived to find the four children, aged seven, 10, 11 and 12, at the scene with stolen toys and other possessions.

“The 11-year-old boy fled after seeing police, but staff chose not to follow him and stayed with the other three remaining youths,” police said in a statement.

“In his attempt to escape, the boy fell approximately eight meters to the ground, injuring his arm.

“Police personnel found him shortly thereafter and provided immediate first aid and the boy was taken to hospital in an ambulance.”

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A spokesperson for the shopping complex told 1News they were “shocked and saddened” by the burglary, especially considering the ages of the children involved.

The children have since been referred to youth services and will be followed up by youth engagement teams, police said.

Hamilton Area Commander Inspector Andrea McBeth spoke after the incident.

“This is a social and community issue and parents have a responsibility to know where their children are and to make sure they are safe,” McBeth said.

“We need our communities to work alongside us and our partner agencies to support and steer young people on a better path.

“We also encourage all members of the public to immediately report any suspicious activity via 111, as this can help us respond in a timely manner and hold all offenders to account.”

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