Whangarei residents should take extra care to lock their vehicles and remove any valuables following a spate of crime, with six cars stolen from central suburbs in less than two days, alongside burglaries.
A shopper's red Isuzu Wizard was stolen from outside Dick Smith at Okara on Friday, just before 3.30pm. The driver still had her car keys and the vehicle was locked at the time.
During that night cars were taken from Raumanga's Murdoch Cres, and Kensington's Russell Rd and Wrack St, though the latter was recovered in Otangarei the next morning - one of three stolen vehicles found in the suburb that day.
A Subaru Legacy, taken from a Cairnfield Rd address just after 11pm on Friday was also located on Saturday morning on Otangarei's Brake Ave, along with a burnt-out car also suspected to have been stolen.
Later on Saturday a white Ford Courier was taken from a Mill Rd property.
Whangarei police Sergeant Paul Nicholas described the spate as "unusual" and said there were also incidents involving people stealing from cars.
On Friday morning residents on McClintock St in Whau Valley reported two cars had been broken into and rifled through, though no items were taken. That night a car had also been broken into on Manse St and the ignition tampered with. On Saturday night a wallet was stolen from a car parked at a Mains Ave, Kensington, property.
It was not only cars that were the targets of thieves. One man returned home to Kiripaka Rd, Tikipunga on Friday to find his front door had been kicked in. Among items stolen were golf clubs, power tools, a television, PlayStation and two iPads. The victim reported a "rugged looking" silver van scoping the area.
Another household in Hilltop Ave, Morningside, was luckier - occupants returned home at 4am on Friday to find a window smashed. Burglars had been through the house, but were unable to steal their large TV as the front door was deadlocked and it would not fit through any of the windows. It appeared no other items were taken.
Electronics were stolen during two daytime burglaries - one on Kamo's Eden Tce on Friday and another on Spedding Rd, Tikipunga on Saturday afternoon. In both incidents doors were forced open to gain entry.
The safe at Whangarei 10 Pin Bowling and Lazer Maze Centre on Port Rd was broken into at 2.48am on Sunday. A sliding door was forced open and an internet office door was smashed. It is not yet clear how much cash was taken, but Mr Nicholas said there was good CCTV footage of the incident.
Several hours later thieves broke in but failed to take the till from a Tikipunga takeaway bar on Kiripaka Rd.
- Anyone with information about the crimes can call Whangarei Police on 09 430 4500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.