Police are warning homeowners in the Mangakahia/Wheki Valley area to lock up their equipment securely and keep an eye out for suspicious activity after a spate of rural burglaries in the area targeting expensive machinery.

Sergeant Paul Nicholas, of Whangarei police, said thieves have been active on rural properties in the Mangakahia/Wheki Valley area, including on State Highway 14 and Mangakahia Rd in recent weeks, targeting equipment like ride-on lawnmowers, chainsaws, quad and motor bikes and trailers.

Three such burglaries over the weekend had left police and the property owners frustrated and Mr Nicholas said rural communities needed to report any suspicious activities to police as soon as possible.

Overnight Saturday/Sunday a property on SH14 at Wheki Valley, 21km south-east of Whangarei, was burgled and a John Deere ride-on lawnmower worth about $9500 and a Stihl chainsaw worth about $450 were stolen.


Over the same period, a property on Mangakahia Rd was burgled and a trailer and chainsaw worth about $600 taken.

Mr Nicholas said overnight Friday/Saturday a property on SH14 was burgled and a motorbike, ride-on lawn mower and set of mag wheels taken.

He said a man driving a white sedan was seen at the property before the theft and police sought information on the vehicle. Meanwhile, marine thefts from coastal areas around Whangarei seem to have spiked over the last few weeks.

Boat owner Eddie Scott-Petersen had a boat and outboard motor on a trailer stolen from his Wellington's Bay batch between Monday and Sunday of last week. He said the aluminium Scorpion boat had a red stripe on both sides of the five metre hull.

Mr Scott-Petersen said he had owned the boat for five years and had it parked at the beach property over summer without incident.

The theft had been reported to police and they posted photos of the boat on Facebook in the hope someone had spotted the craft.

A 14 foot Smartwave boat was taken from a property in Tikipunga last week and found on another property at Maungatapere, police said.

The stolen boat was discovered before the owner even realised it had been taken from a section in Tikipunga.

A 9.9HP Mariner outboard motor was taken from a trimaran moored at the Kissing Pt Marina about 1pm last Friday.

Neighbourhood Support coordinator Sandi Adams said earlier in February an inflatable boat, a couple of outboard motors and a jetski had been stolen from properties in the Parua Bay area.

Any suspicious activity could be reported to the Whangarei police station on 09 4304500 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.