It seems garden tools are in hot demand - with a rise in reported thefts this summer.

Lawnmowers, garden tools and other outdoor equipment stored in garages and outbuildings have been among a number of items stolen in the last few weeks.

Police said in a statement this afternoon there were a growing number of burglaries in Palmerston North, Manawatu and Horowhenua areas.

Central District acting Prevention Manager, Detective Senior Sergeant Neil Forlong reminded members of the public to keep a close eye on their properties.

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"It's a reminder of the importance of securing any property kept outside your home, particularly in garages, sheds or other outbuildings.

"It may feel like an inconvenience at times, but tools left in open sheds and outbuildings are easy pickings for opportunistic burglars."

Forlong also asked anyone who'd seen suspicious behaviour to report it to police.

In particular he said to call police if someone comes to your home and asks to speak to someone you have never heard of.

"They're the calls we want to receive because that's one way offenders may try to case a property to see if anyone's at home."

Anyone with information that may help identify those responsible for these thefts, or locate the stolen property, is asked to contact their local police station or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.