A spate of burglaries in isolated and holiday spots in recent weeks has police worried as thieves target baches and rural homes in Northland.
In one case - described by police as sickening - a patient returned home after treatment for a brain tumour to find her home ransacked.
Onerahi police have reported eight bach burglaries in the Whangarei Heads area in the past week - four at Ocean Beach at the weekend, two at Reotahi and two at McLeod Bay.
Kerikeri police have reported six burglaries at rural properties in the past week, and three baches have been broken into at Oakura.
A meeting was recently held at Tutukaka of property owners concerned about break-ins along the coast. The number has police concerned.
Onerahi police constable Darryl Curran said the Heads burglaries had hit property owners hard. Having four in one night at Ocean Beach was worrying.
"People should be vigilant. Bach owners should take anything valuable away with them if they can, or make sure they are as secure as possible.
"People living in those areas should also be aware of any unusual or suspicious activity, regardless of how insignificant they may think it is."
Mr Curran said there was no evidence to support rumours that a gang of thieves from Auckland was targeting the Heads area.
Hikurangi police Senior Constable Gavin Benney said there had been three burglaries at Oakura overnight on Friday and Saturday last week.
"They went in, stole everything - TVs, food, booze - and they even urinated in two of them," he said. "That's just adding insult to injury. They trashed the places."
Mr Benney said two males, aged 15 and 21, had been arrested in relation to the bach burglaries.
Kerikeri police said rural burglaries were becoming a problem, with six in the past week
Anyone with information on crimes can ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555- 111.