An impromptu Herald survey of 60 Aucklanders found 19 had had their homes burgled, with nine of those the victims of multiple break-ins.

Just four of those interviewed reported getting their belongings back, or an arrest being made.

In 2008 burglaries accounted for 14 per cent of the 400,000 offences recorded, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Police say it is common for burglars to strike a home several times once they know its layout and access points.

The most common things stolen are jewellery and electrical equipment or technology, according to survey participants.

To claim insurance on stolen items people must produce as much evidence of purchase as possible, including photographs, receipts and serial numbers, an IAG spokesperson said.

"The more proof of purchase there is, the more quickly we can do the claims process."

Insurance Council New Zealand chief executive Chris Ryan said crime cost New Zealanders $250 million a year.

"Probably about half of that istheft from homes which is about $10 million a month ... New Zealanders must begin looking for solutions."

On Auckland's North Shore, Murrays Bay School was burgled twice in three days this month, with Murrays Bay Intermediate and Rangitoto College also burgled around the same time.

A computer room at Murrays Bay School has been burgled three times in the past 18 months.

Principal Ken Pemberton said the break-ins and added security measures had been a huge expense.

"All the costs take away from the kids' curriculum."

Since the burglaries an additional sensor has been installed. They are also screwing down windows, embedding the school name on computers and bolting computers to desks.

The school had just pioneered a new computer-based English language programme and only had a licence to put the software on 20 computers.

The software was installed on 11 stolen computers.

Acting Senior Sergeant Bryan Turley of North Shore police said a 22-year-old Glenfield man had been arrested for the burglaries.

He will appear in the North Shore District Court today charged with the burglary of all three schools between June 10 and June 12.

Neighbourhood Support New Zealand says that people should keeptheir homes secure with alarms and sensor lights, and shrubbery lowso burglars cannot be shielded. It also recommends setting upwatch groups within communities.

Survey participant Karen Banks from Remuera said it was a shame people did not get to know their neighbours.

"It's good security. If we hear an alarm go off we'll go investigate."

Most survey participants had some kind of security such as alarms and guard dogs.