POLICE are “fed-up” with teenagers on the street at night causing trouble and tarnishing the image of Wodonga.
The comments come after an “unprovoked” robbery and assault outside Birallee McDonald’s on Thursday night.
Detective Acting Sgt Andrew Leonard said a group of six or seven youths were in the McDonald’s car park at 10.15pm.
He said a beer bottle was thrown through the back window of a car and another parked car was kicked.
Three teenagers, two aged 16 and one 15, were sitting on a ledge by the Birallee Tavern when the larger group approached and “comments” were made.
The trio rang police and moved around the corner to a bus stop on Hedgerow Court but the larger group followed and a 15-year-old girl was struck to the side of the head.
Sgt Leonard said a nearby resident intervened and stopped the incident.
“I’m glad she did intervene before anyone was seriously injured,” he said.
Two bikes and a mobile phone belonging to the trio were stolen.
Sgt Leonard said police had identified most of the larger group and encouraged the teenagers to come forward.
“I would encourage each and every one of them to surrender themselves to Wodonga police,” he said.
“This group of youths was looking for trouble. It was unprovoked and lawless.”
The incident occurred at a spot that has had ongoing issues with gangs of teenagers congregating at night.
A rise in assaults at night led to a forum in September between business owners, police, schools and residents to discuss what could be done.
But police say it’s not just the Birallee shopping precinct — it’s a widespread issue.
“We’re fed-up with this sort of behaviour,” Sgt Leonard said.
“It’s not the image we want Wodonga to be.”
He said police would step-up their response.
There would be more patrols to stop problems before they occurred.
Police urge anyone who saw any part of Thursday night’s incident to come forward, as well as victims of damage from the incident.
Information can be passed on by phoning Wodonga police on (02) 6049 2600 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.