Mazda Demio owners are being warned to keep their "pint-sized pride and joy" out of sight and locked and alarmed after they have become an unsuspecting magnet for thieves.
A stolen blue Mazda Demio 2006 and a stolen black Mazda Familia 2002 were used as getaway cars in a crime spree on Saturday afternoon involving a group of masked robbers who broke into a motorcycle shop in Frankton before holding up a liquor store and dairy in Dinsdale.
The Demio was stolen from Frankton on Friday night and the Familia was taken from Chartwell on Saturday morning. The vehicles were last spotted fleeing a Dinsdale liquor store and dairy on Whatawhata Rd and heading east towards Lake Rd in Hamilton.
Waikato Police said the Mazda Demios are becoming a sought-after vehicle for thieves with dozens being stolen in the Waikato in the past two months.
Owners of the small "nifty nana" cars are being warned to keep a close eye on their vehicles and to call police if someone was showing the "1.3l beauty" unwanted attention.
"Bad guys think they are great. Because apparently we don't look at nana cars while we are driving around. Incorrect, but alas, they are stealing them anyway," the Waikato District Police posted on its Facebook page today.
Police were still working on finding the offenders and asked owners of the compact hatchback to make it as difficult as possible for people to steal by parking them out of sight, keeping them locked and not leaving anything on the seats of in view.
"If you can't park it in a shed, park another car in front of it so they can't get it out. The harder you make it, the more chance it will be there in the morning."