By Niva Chittock of RNZ
Christchurch residents are shocked stolen cars were sent careening down streets early yesterday morning, with bricks weighing down the accelerators.
A police spokesperson said officers found an empty car in a creek with its engine still running at 12.15am in Ferrymead.
Another stolen car, with a brick holding down its accelerator, crashed into parked cars in Mount Pleasant 15 minutes later.
Police said no one was inside the vehicles at the time and believed young people may be behind the incidents.
Waikura Linwood-Central-Heathcote Community Board chairperson, Alexandra Davids, said one of her friends had their car crashed into.
"I think it's obviously been shocking for those who have had to be a part of it.
"I think [an affected resident] adequately described it as like a missile being fired by a blindfolded person."
The police spokesperson said the lack of consideration for the rest of the community by those involved is frustrating, and there could have been a very different outcome.
Davids agreed and said the behaviour was really concerning, especially if young people are involved.
"To have two incidents which could have been potentially life-threatening is a real, real worry."
"We need to be reaching out to our youth and trying to find out the reasons why these incidents are happening," she stated.
Davids said the issue was unfortunately not just contained to Christchurch and there has been a spate of youth car thefts in recent months across the country.
Davids believed a multi-agency approach, which included schools, would be key to try and curb the thefts, dangerous behaviours and copycat crimes.