Neighbours in a Wagga suburb say they are being menaced by a gang of children who steal their cats, break into their houses, and burn their property.
One of them is delivery driver Felicity Guttierres, who discovered somebody had set fire to her grandson's toys in her front garden earlier this week.
She believes the culprits are the same gang of children who have been targeting her Tolland home for months, stealing ash trays and cigarettes right next to their front door.
"For a period of six months they were getting stolen every day - I've gone through about 15 bin buckets," Mrs Guttierres said.
"A couple of times we've seen the kids running off through that vacant lot. One day we caught them, and they wouldn't have been any older than 9 or 10."
When they confronted the children one of them, a girl who looked to be around 8 years old, merely responded by asking to borrow a lighter.
On several occasions she's seen those same children terrorise her neighbours, including one man in a wheelchair who lives just across the road.
She has also heard of several residents whose pets went missing, including her daughter who had her cat and cat-bed stolen.
"They're always knocking bins over, setting bins alight, burning rubbish on the side of the road," Mrs Guttierres said.
"It's not their fault that a lot of them come from not-very-nice families, but how do you stop it? They're starting a lifelong career of being misfits."
Mathew Fuller, who has lived in Tolland for 30 years, said the suburb had steadily grown worse over the years.
Children recently set fire to a tree just across the road, and in January he watched as a full-on street brawl erupted just outside his home on Raye Street.
He said such occurrences no longer surprise him, saying he now regards them as part of the "entertainment" that comes with living in Tolland.
"It's pretty crazy around here. I don't know what the go is. there's no respect in the world. It's just gotten worse over the last 15 years. It's gotten crazy to the point where they're fighting amongst themselves," Mr Fuller said.
"I don't call the police - it's a waste of time. Nothing against coppers, there's only so much they can do. The majority of them are young, so they go to court and because they're a minor they get a slap on the wrist."
Mr Fuller said police officers often drive through the neighbourhood, ignoring the groups of children riding around without helmets during school hours.
Resident Donald Thorne said police officers had become very familiar with some of the perpetrators, but were seemingly powerless to stop them.
Mr Thorne said he recently caught them in the act of breaking into a neighbour's house, but when he called the police he was left waiting three hours for them to arrive.
"The trouble is, let's be totally honest, they need an outstation here somewhere or they need to do with something with the juvenile justice system," Mr Thorne said.
"These kids cannot continually flaunt the law and get away with it."
He said these gangs seemingly had no fear of the police, having seen bike-riding drug dealers openly selling their wares in the middle of the street in broad daylight.
Audry Cooper, who lives in a Department of Veterans' Affairs subsidised house, said her daughter saw a 10-year-old boy in the act of torching a house, but says nothing was ever done about it.
Ms Cooper said she does not blame the police for failing to stop these crimes, saying their "hands are tied" by the justice system.
"Nothing's ever done. It's really so frustrating. How are we ever going to clean the area up?" she said.
"Unless police, the department of house, and council work together, nothing will ever get done."
Wagga police were contacted for comment.
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