A Rotorua mother has resorted to taking all her food to work each day because child burglars as young as eight keep breaking into her home.
The burglars have regularly raided her house while she is at work, stealing stereos, cellphones, jewellery, clothes, a TV, DVDs, photos - and food. They enter by smashing windows or forcing them.
She estimates the cost to her family to be more than $10,000, and says the attacks have happened so often she doesn't bother ringing the police any more.
The food, including meat, milk and other perishables, are stored in her work fridge and brought home at the end of each working day.
"I now put our food in my car so it doesn't get stolen. People have told me to move but I've been here 20 years. Why should I move?"
The woman, who works as a teacher, spoke on condition she is not named and her Western Heights address is kept secret because she fears retaliation.
She says her house had been burgled "too many times to be counted" since October. The last burglary was three weeks ago. Her 18-year-old son's car was also vandalised by the young offenders, whose ages range from 8 to 18.
She says police have told her they are investigating two 11-year-olds in connection to the burglaries. The mother of two has decided to send her 14-year-old daughter to Australia to live with her father and the family no longer buy anything of value for their home.
"I want to buy nice things but they just get taken. I'm tired and I have cried so much my tears are all dry."
She said knowing the burglars were so young was upsetting.
"When I saw they had smashed my son's piano it made me cry."
- DAILY POST