A spate of car break-ins in the Horowhenua district has left vehicle owners frustrated and their property damaged or stolen.

There are even suggestions from some victims that it would be better to remove all items from inside a vehicle, and leave it unlocked with the glove box and compartments open, so thieves can see it is empty and won't bother smashing windows to get in.

Fed up residents are taking to social media to try and identify or raise awareness of thieves targeting car gloveboxes and interiors, and local police have confirmed there has been a rise in this type of crime.

Fiona Rose posted in a Levin Facebook group that she had left her car unlocked accidentally on Friday, and went to it on Monday morning the driver's door was open, glovebox and ashtray open, but a bluetooth speaker was still sitting on the front seat where she had left it.


Another poster shared photos of her car door left open, its window smashed, with the caption "haven't we had enough of this?".

Other reports from throughout the district have described similar incidents of vandalism, tampering or theft from vehicles, including one from Foxton Beach Community Patrol describing two men being caught on camera snooping around a carport on Shortt Street, after smash and grabs were carried out on vehicles around that area the same night.

Levin Police Senior Sergeant Sam Gilpin confirmed there has been an increase in vehicle dishonesty-related crime in the Horowhenua area.

He said police encouraged owners to keep vehicles safe by taking some very basic precautionary measures.

"The easiest way to protect your valuables is to remove them from your vehicle," he said.

"If you do need to leave items unattended, make sure they're out of sight and your vehicle is locked. Also, park in busy, open and well-lit areas whenever possible."

"Items like radar detectors or GPS units, which are often left on dashboards, are especially appealing to opportunistic thieves, so take these with you or leave them out of sight."

Anyone with information about thefts from vehicles, or anyone who has had property stolen, is urged to contact their Police immediately as this means there is a better chance of catching offenders and preventing further crime.


Snr Sgt Gilpin said a 17-year-old local male had recently been arrested and remanded in custody, charged with vehicle dishonesty-related offending in the area.