Lifeguards at Muriwai's volunteer patrol tower confronted vandals this morning and held them inside while the police were called.
Nine young people were found just after 9am this morning, trashing the inside of the Auckland west coast beach tower and pouring cocoa into transmission equipment.
Thousands of dollars worth of equipment was stolen, including uniforms, binoculars and electronics.
Club's president Tim Jago told Checkpoint a senior lifeguard spotted them inside and called for backup, before confronting them to keep them from escaping.
"So we bailed them up there and said 'look, don't go any further, we've got the cops on the way'. I had the police on the line for about 15 minutes, we were giving them detailed descriptions of each and every person that was there, we were taking photographs of them. The cafe was opening at this stage so there were lots of locals coming down, so we just had lots of people sitting in their cars, eyeing these people and making sure they didn't get too far way."
The police collected the group.
The volunteer lifeguards said the damage to the tower was mainly superficial, but some equipment was missing.
Mr Jago said coffee and cocoa powder was poured into the radio and telephone systems, the amplifier for the PA system and uniforms destroyed, and binoculars and small electronic items taken.