Young Burglars Strike New Zealand Center

by Bob Johnson 0

Hastings is the “big city” in the Hawke’s Bay region of New Zealand’s North Island. Northwest of the city’s core, the suburb of Flaxmere was built to help ease the housing demand in Hastings, and was envisioned as an upper-middle class area.

But those plans went awry when developers decided to build smaller dwellings on smaller lots, resulting in what has become a low-income area.

It can’t be said with certainty whether Flaxmere’s high ranking on the region’s social deprivation index contributed to the recent burglary at the local Superstrike bowling complex, but the fact that’s difficult to ignore is the ages of the alleged burglars.

One was 19, and has been charged as an adult with burglary. The others have been referred to Police Youth Aid, and are 15, 13 and 11. According to reports, one of the perpetrators threatened a security guard with an iron bar.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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