Armed with a small crowbar and an acute knowledge of security camera locations Hurae Makoia Wairau targeted two Northland service stations and stole thousands of dollars in cash and tobacco products.

The 54-year-old has pleaded guilty to seven burglary charges and in explanation told police he committed the crimes to fuel his drug addiction.

Wairau will be sentenced in the Whangārei District Court on September 1.

The string of burglaries, that started on New Year's day and continued until last month, ended when police carried out a search of a Morningside property, in Whangārei, and found the crowbar in a vehicle that had been used during the burglaries.

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Tikipunga Gas was hit on New Year's Day with tobacco products being taken. Photo / File
Tikipunga Gas was hit on New Year's Day with tobacco products being taken. Photo / File

Police have issued a strong message to those who might consider buying some of the stolen tobacco products.

"Police will prosecute those who receive stolen goods and encourage anyone who is offered cheap cigarettes to report this to police. This can be done anonymously through Crimestoppers," Tactical Crime Unit Detective Sergeant Josh Lautogo said.

Police believe a bulk of the stolen tobacco products were offloaded in Auckland.

Lautogo said a consistent partnership between the owners of the businesses and police to stop the thefts paid off in the end with an arrest.

"Police continued to work with the owners and help them implement better measures to protect his store that has ultimately lead to the apprehension of an offender."

He said police would work with other businesses that stocked tobacco products to make sure they were not victimised.

The owner of GAS Tikipunga had a bad start to the year when Wairau forced the front doors open with a crowbar at 4.27am and stole cash and cigarettes.

Caltex Oakleigh Service Station, on State Highway 1 south of Whangārei, was broken into on February 3, March 14 and 25, July 1 and 3, and the offender tried to force a door open but did not gain entry on July 17. The burglaries happened in the early morning between 1.09am and 4.10am.

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The Oakleigh Service Station was robbed of tobacco products numerous times this year. Photo / File
The Oakleigh Service Station was robbed of tobacco products numerous times this year. Photo / File

Wairau used the crowbar to either smash a sliding door window or force open the front door. The money and cigarettes were piled into a large white sack and Wairau would leave through the door he has smashed to get entry.

Police said Wairau was aware of all the security camera locations and parked his vehicle where he could avoid being filmed.