A Whangārei woman is scared to go home after it was burgled while she was in hospital having an operation.

More frightening for her, is the concern that some of her stolen property was found at a neighbouring property.

The woman, whom the Northern Advocate has decided not to name, went into Whangārei Hospital on Friday for long-awaited surgery and her son went to her house on Monday to feed the cats.

However, when he arrived his mother's car was parked near the front door, packed full with her belongings.

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More of his mother's belongings were stacked in the hall, some boxed and ready to be carted off.

He called his mother at hospital and jokingly said "are you shifting house?"

She wasn't. The police were called.

The thieves had entered the house between Friday night and Sunday and had taken cutlery, mirrors, a coffee maker, food out of cupboards and freezer, some clothes - everything except furniture and heavy appliances.

Officers quickly found some of the stolen property at a neighbouring house, and a woman was arrested and charged receiving stolen goods. The woman allegedly received various household items, including golf clubs, suitcases, two backpacks, laptop and jewellery items.

Police inquiries are continuing.

The burglary victim said she was now scared to stay at her home alone, given that neighbours were allegedly involved in the break-in.

''I own this house. This is my home, but now I want to leave because of what these neighbours are like and what new tenants might be like.''

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She and her son thought the house might have been first burgled on Friday and the thieves went back later for more. It appeared they were going to take her car as well, she said.

• Jenny Patrina Pomere, 38, appeared in Whangārei District Court yesterday charged with receiving stolen goods. She did not plead and was remanded on bail to reappear in the court on June 18.