Police shock as a 10-year-old boy is arrested in Alice Springs for theft of cigarettes 


Shock as 10-year-old is arrested for stealing $2000 worth of CIGARETTES in small Australian town

  • NT Police said arrest of 10-year-old boy for theft was ‘extremely concerning’
  • The boy was one of six people to take $2,000 worth of smokes from a store
  • The theft was part of a weekend of offending police dealt with in Alice Springs  
  • Local councillor Michael Liddle fears for a ‘lost generation’ in the town 


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A senior policeman said the arrest of a 10-year-old boy for the theft of $2,000 worth of cigarettes was ‘extremely concerning’.

The child was one of six people believed to be involved in breaking into a store inside a shopping centre on Bath Street in Alice Springs last weekend. 

Northern Territory Police are currently trying to identify the five other offenders involved.

The force’s Southern Region Commander, Craig Laidler, said the boy’s arrest was one of a number of incidents of criminal behaviour in the town over the weekend.

‘It is extremely concerning to see offenders as young as 10 engaging in this type of offending,’ Cmdr Laidler said.

‘We’re fed up with the absolute disregard we continue to see and experience first-hand with youth and adult offenders who continue to show complete disregard and respect for our community, businesses and residences.

“Our members are working tirelessly to make our community safer for everyone, and despite our best efforts at the weekend our community was seriously impacted by crime and anti-social behaviour.” 

'It is extremely concerning to see offenders as young as 10 engaging in this type of offending,' Northern Territory's Southern Region Commander, Craig Laidler, said of the arrest of a 10-year-old boy in relation to the theft of $2,000 worth of cigarettes

‘It is extremely concerning to see offenders as young as 10 engaging in this type of offending,’ Northern Territory’s Southern Region Commander, Craig Laidler, said of the arrest of a 10-year-old boy in relation to the theft of $2,000 worth of cigarettes

Three others were arrested for property offending, motor vehicle theft and anti-social behaviour across Alice Springs.

They included a 16-year-old boy charged in relation to an unlawful entry at an East Side home, and two men aged 20 and 21 who broke into a home in Gillen on Sunday morning.  

‘Sad reality is this is really happening every day of the week, day and night,’ one person commented on a post about the theft.

‘When people are at work or at home makes no difference, and when they’re caught, they get let off lightly if they’re a youth so what’s the deterrence not to do it again if the same outcome every time if caught.’

NT Police statistics revealing 830 break-ins in the city in the year to August 2021, which represented a 60 per cent jump on the previous year

NT Police statistics revealing 830 break-ins in the city in the year to August 2021, which represented a 60 per cent jump on the previous year

NT Police statistics revealing 830 break-ins in the city in the year to August 2021, which represented a 60 per cent jump on the previous year

Youth crime is an ongoing problem in Alice Springs, with NT Police statistics revealing 830 break-ins in the city in the year to August 2021, which represented a 60 per cent jump on the previous year. 

Alice Springs councillor and Alyawarre man Michael Liddle told ABC Alice Springs last year that he feared ‘a lost generation’ of kids walking around with ‘no identity and no purpose’.

‘We need more soldiers getting the young people to turn around and say, “c’mon, this is a better way”,’ said Mr Liddle, who noted crime in the town was becoming more brazen.  



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