An "out of control" 11-year-old recidivist burglar has been arrested for allegedly helping to rob multiple houses in Napier.

Last month the boy allegedly acted as a lookout and "gate-opener"' for a 17-year-old and a 21-year-old man who were later arrested and charged with burglary in the Napier suburb of Onekawa.

He was sent to Gisborne and placed in care but ran away and made his way back to Napier.

Police said the boy was arrested, along with a 12-year-old boy and a boy and a girl, both 16, after allegedly breaking into four houses in Onekawa yesterday.


All four were caught after a homeowner returned to find one of the boys climbing through his window, police said.

It is understood the man grabbed one of the younger boys, but backed off after being threatened by the other youths.

He then followed the alleged offenders through the streets as they threatened him with a real estate sign pulled from a lawn and threw rocks at his car.

Officers arrested all four of the alleged offenders soon afterward.

Detective sergeant Heath Jones said the 11-year-old alleged offender had been put into care in Gisborne last month after taking part in several burglaries.

The "out of control" boy would often walk down streets knocking on doors as he sought empty houses to rob, he said.

"There hasn't been many positives in his life. He's certainly not had many positive role models in his life."

Mr Jones said the 16-year-old boy and girl had appeared in Napier District Court earlier today.

The 11-year-old and the 12-year-old had been placed in secure care by Child, Youth and Family, he said.