Local residents assisted the police in capturing "a very athletic" alleged burglar this morning in Hastings, says Hawke's Bay police Senior Sergeant David Sutherland.

He said a man was disturbed at a York Ave house "first thing" and, thanks to alert residents, police cordoned off Tomoana Rd, Fitzroy Ave and Whitehead Rd.

For half an hour of "cat and mouse" the man ran into and out of properties or climbed over fences, with residents helping police find his changing location.

"With the assistance of some local residents and one of the burglar's victims, a very athletic burglar was caught in a Tomoana Rd property," Mr Sutherland said.

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Police captured the man and have thanked the public for their assistance but there is one more job left to do. Police are asking residents on York Ave, Tomoana Rd, Fitzroy Ave and Whitehead Rd to check their properties for a white T-shirt or singlet that was discarded.