Tauranga residents are urged to secure their vehicles after a recent spike in car break-ins.

A police spokeswoman said police understood there had been around half a dozen car break-ins during the last two nights.

She said police are making inquiries into these car thefts.

This couples up with a spike in car thefts by joy-riders in Rotorua over the last three months.

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The police's top tips to minimise the risk of car theft:

• Always take your keys with you when you leave your vehicle.

• Always lock your vehicle when you leave it.

• Close all windows, including sunroofs.

• Park in well-lit areas if possible.

• Remove, or put out of sight, items like radar detectors because these can be targeted by offenders.

• Try not to leave valuables in your car. Thieves will break in for something as small as loose change.

• If you have to leave valuables in your car, make sure they are out of sight, but remember hiding them is not as safe as removing them.

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• Don't leave documents with personal information or keys to your house or business, boat, etc, in your vehicle.

As always, if you see any suspicious activity – report it by calling police on 111.