Police are reviewing CCTV footage after a van was stolen in broad daylight outside the Waitarere Beach Four Square yesterday morning.
The owner of the white 2018 Toyota Hi Ace (MJE774) had parked outside and visited the store around 8am, only to return to find his van being driven away.
Some eye witnesses reported seeing a man driving a silver Nissan Pulsar with a red bonnet at the scene. The number plates on the Pulsar had been reported as stolen that morning from Levin, and that car was later found burnt out at Gladstone River that afternoon.
The van itself was distinguishable as it had black tinted windows, a black bull bar at the front and now hub caps.
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Inside the van were valuable tools essential to his flooring business, including commercial vacuum cleaner, knee-kickers, compressor, heating irons, grinders, floor strippers and an assortment of other tools.
It was the latest of several vehicle thefts in Horowhenua in recent weeks, prompting police to issue a warning for people to be vigilant and on the look out for suspicious behaviour.
A statement from police said they were committed to ensuring New Zealanders were safe, protected and informed.
"We will continue to be highly visible in our communities and on our roads, including stopping vehicles to speak with drivers," it said.
"We continue to encourage anyone who sees anything suspicious in their community or on the road, or anyone who has been the victim of crime, to get in touch with us.
"If it is happening now call 111. If it has already happened call 105."
Police offered the following advice to help keep vehicles safe:
- Always take 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.
- Don't leave valuables in your vehicle.