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Street Gang Targets Bronte

By Duncan Horscroft on April 11, 2013 in News

Picture: Rob Burr

Picture: Rob Burr

When Bronte local Mark Perica heard his partner Zara call out “there’s someone in the house” at 3am one recent morning, he thought he was dreaming.

But that dream turned into a nightmare when she added “and they’ve stolen your laptop”.

Mark immediately sprang into action and – wearing nothing but a bathrobe – he gave chase to the three youths who had broken into his house.

“I had no shoes on and ran out the door and saw the youths, who were part of a gang of seven, disappear down the steps into Bronte Gully,” Mark said.

“I saw their heads through the tree line but then I lost sight of them and didn’t know where they went.

“Then I started walking towards Tamarama and saw them again near Hewlett Street.”

He said one of the gang spotted him and called out “shit, he’s still following us” to his mate.

Mark said the group, who were aged between 13 and 16 years of age and included two girls, then headed down Marine Parade.

He said he began running after them at full pace in an effort to cut them off.

“I must have looked a sight in bare feet with my robe flapping behind me with nothing on under it, but my laptop had all my work on it and there was no way I was going to let it go,” Mark said.

“When I saw them in the distance I began doing my Inspector Clouseau impersonation, sneaking behind park cars and watching their every move.“

Even though the gang had spotted Mark earlier he said it did not deter them from trying the doors on every parked car they passed, and when they found one unlocked, they ransacked it.

He also said they were keeping an eye out for houses that looked an easy target with two or three of the gang members casing a residence while the rest of the gang kept lookout.

“I then followed them into Tamarama Gully and saw them about 20 metres away and I suddenly thought, ‘What the hell am I going to do now?’”

“So I just started walking casually towards them as if I was out for a stroll.

“When I began walking up the steps at the end of the gully one of the older blokes saw me and as I got closer I said, “hello boys, it’s a good night for a walk, eh?’”

Mark said he saw one of the kids with a laptop over his shoulder and walked up to him and quietly told him he knew what they had done and if they gave the laptop back he wouldn’t call the cops.

“My heart was pounding but I got my laptop and walked away as they headed up Birrell Street.

“When I got home I found they had also stolen my wallet, phone and car keys and that’s when I rang the police.

“The police turned up and I told them to send someone towards Bondi Road and they would probably find the gang. As I was talking to the cops they received a call from the all-night service station on Bondi Road saying someone was trying unsuccessfully to use a credit card and they were caught on CCTV.”

But when Mark tried to explain that it was probably his credit card and asked if he could view the credit card transaction to prove it, he was denied.

The CCTV footage also showed one of the gang members reaching into his bag to turn of Mark’s mobile phone off when Mark rang it from his home.

Mark also said he would be happy to identify the gang members from a line-up but was told they were within their rights to refuse to partake in a line-up.

Apparently the gang was eventually caught but Mark was not required to identify them.

And because they were minors they probably got off with a slap on the wrist and are wandering the streets of the Eastern Suburbs again, looking for another easy mark.

Isn’t the law a wonderful thing!