What the heck is going on at night when the good folk of Hawke's Bay go to bed — or "hit the hay", as my father used to say.
It's blatantly obvious that while we sleep others creep. They creep around under the cover of darkness stealing cars or, as in the case of the story on page 7 today, they just take the parts they want —all four wheels.
Imagine getting ready for work or to take your children to school, going to your driveway and finding your car resting on a piece of wood with no wheels.
I feel sorry for Genevieve Allan and her family. She says she doesn't feel safe in her own home now. She also points out that her husband works six and a half days a week so they can afford a car.
It's awful that some random person — or more likely two or three people — thinks it okay to help themselves to other people's property
It seems every day people are posting images on social media of stolen cars, motorbikes or trailers taken from their property while they sleep.
Do the thieves drive around picking targets during the day and then go back at night? Or is it just a case of 'let's see what we can find to steal tonight'.
The story above drew many comments on Facebook. One poster said "Sadly it is a sign of the times so many wheels getting nicked all the time. If they get caught it's only going to be a slap on the hand".
Another said "They can strip your 4 tyres in less than 2mins. If there's more people then even quicker.. If you have lug nuts they know how to remove those too"
Not surprised to hear that because they seem to be getting plenty of practice lately.
A couple of weeks back the car alarm on Mr Neat's vehicle went off in the night. By the time we got up to have a look the outside light was on but there was no sign of anyone.
It was 2am and it took me forever to get back to sleep. I kept thinking about the fact that someone had been up the driveway snooping around.
Lucky the vehicle had an alarm and it's a very clever vehicle because the next morning when it was started "attempted theft" flashed up on the screen.
Do we all have to resort to putting alarms in our cars, padlocks on sheds, although that doesn't stop people breaking in, installing cameras? All that costs money.
Tradies are regular targets which suggests that tools and electrical gear are easy to sell on.
I've said this before — people receiving stolen goods should be heavily penalised.
I don't think it's going to stop anytime soon. We can't sit up all night watching our driveways.
I'm not sure what the answer is but perhaps investing in a car alarm would be a good idea. I had a quick look online and found one that had "voice feedback on alarm status and operational parameters" for $159.
I'm guessing there would be installation costs but still, it's something to consider. The alarm certainly scared off the people in our driveway thanks goodness.
In the meantime, if you do see people snooping around during the day, take their number plate just in case something goes missing overnight.
It's sad that we have to be so suspicious of strangers but as usual, a small percentage of people have spoiled it for the rest of us.
* Linda Hall is Assistant Editor at Hawke's Bay Today