Containers being used as private and business storage facilities in industrial areas of Hawke's Bay continue to be targeted by thieves and police are urging owners to lock them up better.

"It is no surprise to see containers being targeted," Hawke's Bay Police Constable Mike Burne said.

"They are usually used to store or house items that are essential and valuable to their owner's business, and there are many of them in our area."

Mr Burne said police were advocates of what he said was the most effective way to prevent container break-ins - lock boxes which can be fitted to the doors.

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Over a short period containers stored in yards off Mersey St, Pandora Rd and Lipton Place were targeted.

Mr Burne said the couple of hundred dollars a lock box might cost would almost certainly be only a fraction of the value of what may be stored in some containers.

He said a thief would have to work "real hard" and for a considerable amount of time to get past the lock box and would need an industrial strength grinder which would make a lot of noise.

"They would have to work at it very hard for a very long time and that increases the likelihood of them getting caught.

There had also been a recent spike in thefts of goods delivered by couriers outside most usual business hours.

There had been a similar spate in and around the greater Onekawa industrial area a year ago.

"It may be raising its head again," Mr Burne said and urged business operators to make more security-conscious plans to receive courier deliveries.

"There's nothing stopping anyone making arrangements for their parcels to be delivered during work hours, or having a safe and secure drop point.

He said having something left on a visible doorstep at 6.30am was just what roaming thieves were looking for.

Cars also continue to be targeted and Mr Burne said hospitality areas like West Quay in Ahuriri, where people parked up for an evening out, were often targeted.

"Lots of unattended vehicles in one place presents a golden opportunity for thieves, so if you are parking in the area, you need to be extra vigilant."

Police had carried out patrols through the area and recently caught and arrested two men and charged them with breaking into at least one vehicle in the West Quay area.

Police also nabbed two men they spotted siphoning fuel from a vehicle at a Taradale Rd business.