A group of teenagers targeting cars in an Onehunga street have been caught in the act, with the video offering a remarkable insight into the methods of the brazen young criminals currently targeting neighbourhoods across Auckland.
It is a scene that plays out every night on streets across Auckland, but sleeping residents don't often see the criminals in action.
The video, shot by a neighbour, shows the group of at least five young males ransacking a car in Forbes St at 10pm last night.
In what appears to be a well-rehearsed operation, some members of the gang keep lookout while others go through the vehicle.
The video was shared by another local resident, who told the Herald that the youths ran off when he confronted them.
The resident, who asked to remain anonymous, admitted that approaching the group was "probably not a smart thing to do" but said he was acting on instinct.
He said that the group had piled gear on the berm and had broken the quarter window, the driver's door and the ignition lock before they were disturbed.
After he began to approach them, the group fled in blue Subaru Impreza.
The incident comes days after a car full of young teens led police on a chase across Auckland and another group left a trail of destruction across a North Shore suburb after a late-night crime spree.
Forbes St in Onehunga has been repeatedly targeted by thieves, with residents reporting multiple instances of cars being broken into, with the criminals often smashing windows without stealing anything.
After the video was posted online, residents shared their own stories and some directly linked the group seen in the video to other similar offending.
One resident claimed she had seen the group using similar tactics on a nearby street and one had whistled to the others when she approached.
"These shameless criminals keep doing this because crime pays here in NZ," another said.
Inspector Steve Clark, Area Commander for Auckland City East Police told the Herald that police were aware of the social media commentary on the incident.
"Police received a report involving this vehicle on Forbes St after 10pm, where the occupants were acting suspiciously near another parked vehicle," Inspector Clark told the Herald.
"The report was made around 10 minutes after the incident occurred when the vehicle had already left the immediate area.
"Since then the vehicle involved, a Subaru Impreza which was reported stolen, has been located abandoned in the nearby Onehunga area.
"Police are in the process of recovering this vehicle and will be making further inquiries."
Police asked anyone with information on this specific case to call 105 and quote the reference number P047340901.
Police also had advice for anyone concerned about keeping their vehicle secure:
• Ensure your vehicle is locked, even if it is parked in your driveway
• Steering wheel locks are relatively inexpensive from automotive stores, but will help prevent your vehicle being stolen.
• An immobiliser can be another option to prevent your vehicle being taken.
• Any vehicle can be a potential target, but we remind owners of Mazda Demios and Nissan Tiidas to be particularly vigilant as these vehicles are often targeted by offenders.
* Police also encourage people to report suspicious activity, with as much information as possible, to Police immediately by calling 111.