An epidemic of vandalism has left an entire street requiring window repairs.
Overnight on Sunday, a number of letterboxes and windows were removed from houses in a quiet North Melbourne street.
“The most urgent action to take is for the affected residents to organise for window replacement, Melbourne citizens should be vigilant about further vandalism that may occur,” said police spokesperson Timothy Carpenter.
It is believed that the thieves only removed open windows and older style windows that do not lock.
The current whereabouts of the removed windows is not known, however all stolen letterboxes have been recovered. The letterboxes had been dumped in the centre of a nearby roundabout.
It appears that no items were stolen from inside the houses, suggesting that the incidents were not motivated by an attempt to rob the houses.
“At this stage we believe that the acts were undertaken as a thrill rather than to harm or steal from residents,” said Carpenter.
It is suspected that a local gang of teenagers is responsible for the spate of attacks. The attacks were believed to be conducted without the aid of a car, as marks consistent with dragging letterboxes have been sighted throughout neighbouring streets.
This is following similar acts of vandalism last month, in which several shops on a neighbouring street had their awning removed during the night.
It is not known if the same perpetrators are behind both incidents, or if Sunday night’s events were a copycat act of vandalism following the extensive media coverage of the awning thefts.
Most of the affected residents are seeking timber window repairs, Melbourne regulations stipulate that the windows must be replaced in line with the original appearance of the house.
Several of the affected houses are heritage listed. Owners have sought permission to install timber casement windows due to the security benefits of having lockable windows.
Residents that believe their letterbox or windows have been removed are urged to contact police.