If there's a season for burglary and theft, this must surely be it.
I'm not sure whether the offenders are feeling the pressure of Christmas bills mounting, or that the festive season brings more opportunity for crime, or perhaps a combination of both.
But at this time of year there always seems to be a rash of heartbreaking stories about stuff being swiped.
So far in the past week we've had the children whose pet lamb was taken from the front paddock - for the second year in a row. The tame lamb would have just walked up to whoever took it, leaving the poor kids crying for their pet.
Then a mum's bike was stolen while she was praying at church. It takes a special kind of thief to creep around the back of a church and take a woman's bike.
Thankfully, she's received the kind offer of a replacement bike from a stranger.
And then there was the barefoot thief, who stole the takings from a busker playing on Masterton's Queen St.
To scoop up a few coins off the ground and leg it is a pretty desperate act.
In fact, all of these thefts - a pet lamb, a bike, and a busker's hat - are pathetic acts.
With two weeks to go until Christmas (only two weeks!) I'm dreading the call from the family who has had their Christmas ruined because burglars have cleaned out the presents from under the tree.
I hope no one in Wairarapa has their Christmas ruined in that fashion this year.
It's a shame to have to do it, but you can't take chances - so hide them, lock them up, do whatever you have to do to keep them well hidden until Christmas Day.