Whangārei police are calling on the public to be vigilant after a recent spike in commercial and residential burglaries, with vehicles and car trailers being prime targets.

Work tools, including specialist equipment worth tens of thousands of dollars, have been stolen but police say it's too early to say whether these incidents are linked.

Despite noticing a spike, police do not have statistics readily available and have advised the Northern Advocate to apply under the Official Information Act.

However, some of the cases have come to the fore as the victims have taken to social media to appeal for information.


A pipe-out trailer was stolen from a locked yard at Northland Plumbing, Gas and Drainage on Kioreroa Rd sometime on Tuesday morning and director Hamish Smith said the theft has slowed down their work.

A day earlier, a grey VW Golf, registration CEC983, was stolen from in front of KFC on Bank St about 9.30pm.

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Smith said the trailer and essential tools in it were worth between $15,000 and $20,000.

"It has significantly held up our job this week until we get a new one. There's people out there that must be buying the stolen items.

"They'll probably dump the trailer and sell the plumbing materials. We had a van broken into earlier this year and tools were stolen," he said.

The Northland Plumbing, Gas and Drainage yard was broken into and a pipe-out trailer like the one in this photo was stolen. Photo / Supplied
The Northland Plumbing, Gas and Drainage yard was broken into and a pipe-out trailer like the one in this photo was stolen. Photo / Supplied

The theft comes after two extensively signwritten utes belonging to Tree Wise Northland, an Ian Bradley Electrical vehicle, a digger and a car belonging to an 80-year-old woman in Morningside were stolen.

Police have managed to recover some of the vehicles reported as stolen and have asked people to be vigilant and to call 111 immediately if they witnessed any suspicious activity.


"Most vehicle crime is opportunistic. Always lock your vehicle. Never, ever leave valuables in your car," police said.

Vehicle owners are also being advised to never leave keys in their vehicle or somewhere that could be in view of offenders.

They should park their vehicles up driveways and in well-lit areas, close to the house rather than on the street where possible.

"Consider installing a vehicle alarm. A steering lock is also a cheap but very effective tool to prevent someone being able to drive off in your car."

New Zealand police data shows a car was vandalised or stolen every 21 minutes in 2019 and 24,416 vehicles were either stolen or broken into throughout the country.

That was an increase of 2655 cars from the previous year.

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