Police have asked the public for information after a group of teenagers set fires and broke into an Aberdeen charity’s premises.
Somebody Cares has had to deal with a spate of vandalism and misbehaviour this year which is “escalating” into more serious crimes.
A group of teenagers thought to be aged between 14 and 15, have been causing concern amongst the Hazlehead community.
Over the last two nights, police have been called to the Somebody Cares megastore on Hazledene Road.
On Wednesday, a deliberate fire was set within a container on the grounds owned by another business – with £3,000 goods destroyed.
Then, on Thursday night, the shop itself was broken into, with a window broken and a mannequin was stolen.
An office space, being used by another business, was also broken into.
Spate of antisocial activity
Somebody Cares operations manager Robert Smith revealed that incidents were just the latest in a spate of antisocial activity undertaken by a group of vandals.
He said: “It really started summer last year but then they were just messing about, no vandalism and it has really escalated since the latest lockdown.
“Recently, they have set two wheelie bins on fire, had a big bonfire in the woods surrounding the premises.
“Then last night they broke into the shop by smashing one of our big windows and stole a mannequin, then broke into an office by smashing through the door then vandalised it a bit.
“It does not seem they are stealing for financial gain but more for trophies.
“We have come upon three of their hideouts in the woods, and found tools and other things that look like they have been stolen from gardens or sheds.”
Can you help?Somebody Cares Retail Megastore has had several break ins, container set on fire, along with other…
Somebody Cares and the other businesses in the area have been urged to beef up their security due to the ongoing crime wave.
The charity has had to fork out more than £2,000 on repairs and CCTV cameras in a bid to curb the vandals.
It is understood police have told them to beware, as the crimes are escalating, with Mr Smith fearing that it could lead to their entire shop going up in smoke.
He said: “We are frustrated, we are a charity called Somebody Cares and this is what we stand for.
“We have had to spend money on CCTV cameras and repairs, we are concerned because we could be looking at a fire in the shop next.
“It is full of wooden furniture, which would make a massive bonfire and these are items that we have been given to make good use of.
“We have tried talking to the group but they just run away.
“Other businesses are also struggling, Blytheswood had one of their containers broken into and so did Greenwood Interiors.”
The community needs to come together
Mr Smith is now pleading for the community to “come together” and for local parents to be more aware of where their children are going at night.
He added: “We are concerned about the children as they are hanging about and drinking together.
“But we need the community to come together and for parents to find out what their kids are doing at night, as they must know they have been up to no good if they come back smelling of smoke.
“We are here to help people and we do it well, our intentions are charity and this is costing us money and time.
“If you know who is doing it, please ask them to stop and have conversations with them.”
Police have now posted an appeal on their social media calling for anyone with information to get in touch.
Officers are investigating two incidents which took place in the Hazeldene Road area of Aberdeen this week.Around…
Sergeant John McOuat said: “I can confirm that officers are investigating two incidents which have taken place in the Hazledene Road area of Aberdeen this week.
“Around 8.35pm on Wednesday, March 24, officers were called to assist Scottish Fire and Rescue Service following a report of a storage container on fire. The following evening, around 6.45pm, officers discovered a broken window at a business premises nearby.
“It is disappointing and frustrating to see that certain people think it is acceptable to damage the property of others in such a way. I would urge anyone with information on either of these incidents to contact us on 101.”