Being able to get one up on potential burglars is a good feeling, says Evan Lockington, a resident of Viscount St, Mangere.
The 29-year-old has lived in the area all his life and says seeing crime happening in his neighbourhood has never been a good feeling.
"I guess it's just down to pure silliness. It's mainly the younger generation - just bored, with nothing to do and so they go and do stupid things. There's been a lot of crime over the years."
A police initiative launched last year - Operation Safe as Houses - has given residents a chance to fight back. Mr Lockington is the co-ordinator at the Viscount Community House, a drop-in centre for locals.
He said when the SelectaDNA marking tools were distributed last year, everyone started talking about them and making sure they were used.
"My own family, they find it really effective. They've gone and marked everything. They reckon it's awesome. It's one little project that really has changed a community.
"People are watching each other's backs and getting to know their neighbours more. They're better prepared and aware about safety."