When Trace Lazarus discovered thieves had ransacked her home stealing months of savings she felt so violated she moved out.

The mother-of-four is a victim of one of four burglaries in Whau Valley in two weeks, part of a spate of opportunistic burglaries in Whangarei.

"I felt violated, angry, sad. Lots of emotions were going through my head," Ms Lazarus said

The Whangarei woman is her mother's fulltime caregiver and was staying with her in Tikipunga on Tuesday night.


On Wednesday morning she returned to her three-bedroom home in Weaver St and noticed the garage side door was open so she went in to have a look.

"I walked in and saw drawers everywhere, clothes everywhere. It was instant shock.

"I was wondering if there was anyone still in the house," she said.

A chainsaw, two drill kits and a battery were gone.

The thieves also took several months worth of savings which would have gone towards buying a new car.

Trace Lazarus said her home no longer felt safe after it was burgled. Photo/Tania Whyte
Trace Lazarus said her home no longer felt safe after it was burgled. Photo/Tania Whyte

She said she felt too scared to live in the house so she ended her tenancy early and she and her two youngest kids, Waverly, 14 and Shore, 12, are now living with her mum.

"I loved that house and everything about it. We made memories in there. Since that incident I have the opposite feelings.

"I feel like these people broke into our home and touched all our belongings and just took the feelings that we have for our house away. It doesn't feel safe."

The burglary impacted her whole family, including her kids, but despite this she was trying to stay positive.

"I try to look at their background. What's their story, why are they doing these types of things? And if I had a word of advice it would be that there's help out there.

"They don't need to go violate other people's property. I'm damaged after this, I'm traumatised."

Senior Sergeant John Fagan, area prevention manager for Whangarei/Kaipara, said there had also been six burglaries in Tikipunga in the past two weeks.

One was on Briden Drive on Wednesday where four youths stole three pairs of Nike sneakers from the front step of a home.

A dog unit was called and they tracked to Fishbone Park in Otangarei where the scent was lost.

Mr Fagan said total crime was down on 2016 and dishonesty crimes, like burglary, were down across Whangarei too.

He said the recent burglaries were "opportunistic, annoying and nuisance type burglaries".

"Though they aren't very nice for our victims to find out someone has been on their property, the offenders usually target small or mobile items like electronics or bicycles.

"Or they break into vehicles parked on private property which is now classed as a burglary which until a couple of years ago would have been reported as a theft ex car."

Ms Lazarus said she had learnt from the experience and would be keeping her savings in the bank.

"Don't think it won't happen to you, like I did. You hear about these burglaries all the time but it doesn't make you really do something about it. Get your stuff insured or lock it away."