Betcha at least one of the thieving buggers is a descendant of someone like Ned Kelly

Alf is by no means astonished to learn of the antics of the group of Australian schoolboys who were caught shoplifting $6000 worth of goods in Queenstown.

Never mind that stuff about the buggers coming from an elite Catholic college.

The fact is they are Australians. Hence they are bound to be the great, great (several times) grandsons of convicts shipped to the colonies back in the 1800s and so are genetically programmed to be light-fingered.

Between then and now the Aussies (suffering from this urge to pilfer) have stolen the pavlova, Phar Lap and enough indigenous people to make up for a group called The Stolen Generation.

Police said the shoplifting spree happened between 2pm and 6pm, and affected seven stores.

R&R Sport sales assistant Kate Long told the Otago Daily Times shop staff became suspicious and questioned the group after they took ski garments into the changing rooms.

Some of the boys ran off when challenged, but were quickly found waiting for a bus with teachers.

See. The wee rascals were not smart enough to evade the authorities, which happens to be the same defect that landed their forebears in trouble.

A search of the bags by teachers and Ms Long uncovered a variety of stolen garments and souvenirs – many damaged where security tags had been ripped off.

Ms Long said the teachers were helpful, paying for the damaged garments immediately and making the boys, some of whom were in tears, call their parents.

Queenstown police Sergeant Steve Watt told AAP on Monday the teachers paid for the damaged garments and the boys, some of whom were crying, were made to call their parents and report their deeds.

Oh, dear.

That’s another thing about Aussies.

The buggers are prone to break down in tears.

Cricket captains like Kim Hughes, prime ministers like the Rudd bloke…they will be remembered for their tears rather their triumphs.

So what sort of school do these weeping brats attend?

Xavier College is a boys’ Jesuit school and one of Melbourne’s most elite Catholic colleges with fees of about $18,000 a year.

The school has attracted negative publicity in the past, including the entire Year 12 group being suspended in 2008 when end-of-year antics led to one student being taken to hospital amid public complaints of students’ drunken, violent behaviour.

Ah, in those respects they behave just like Kiwi kids.

They get pissed, they beat up people, that sort of thing.

To the extent that this can be explained by their bloodline, of course, their misbehaviour is understandable to someone like Alf. Certainly it’s more understandable than the misbehaviour of kids on this side of the ditch, which leaves him severely perplexed.

St Francis Xavier, by the way, was a missionary and one of the founding members of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits.

Alas, the lads from the school named after him in Melbourne seem to be shaping up for careers converting cars rather than heathens.

It sounds like they will have plenty of time to do this over the next week or so. Radio NZ has just reported they have been suspended.

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