While most people are taking a break to enjoy their summer holidays it seems thieves are still at work in Northland with at least 12 vehicles stolen in five days.

At least two of the stolen vehicles have been involved in more serious crimes including a pursuit and the ramming of an Otangarei dairy.

During the same period from December 30 until yesterday morning there had also been 18 burglaries reported to Whangarei police along with 13 cars broken into.

The spate of dishonesty offending in Whangarei and Kaipara has police issuing a simple warning for residents and motorists to be vigilant and to not leave any valuables in sight in parked vehicles and to lock all buildings securely.


Area prevention manager Senior Sergeant John Fagan said most of the crimes were not sophisticated offending but opportunistic, and nearly all were preventable.

"The message is the same one we have been putting out over the last 12 months and that's don't leave wallets and handbags visible in parked vehicles. You can't leave anything visible, otherwise you become a target."

He said thefts of wallets and handbags led to secondary offences.

"They go straight from breaking into a car to a service station, ripping off someone's bank account. People need to start taking onboard the prevention message.

"There are individuals in our community who don't give a stuff about creating more victims."

One of the stolen vehicles was taken from the Whangarei Hospital carpark on Monday and was then involved in a police pursuit on Tuesday. The fleeing car was spiked but continued to be driven on the rims for about 10km before eventually stopping after passing through Kaitaia's main street. Five teenagers were arrested.

Another stolen vehicle was involved in an attempted ram-raid of Jack Street Dairy, Otangarei, on Tuesday about 10.40pm. The vehicle was taken from Kensington and used to crash through the front of the shop.

Two males went into the shop after the vehicle reversed through the front window but quickly left after being confronted by an occupant, who was watching TV at the back of the dairy.

Substantial damage was caused to the shop front and police are continuing to investigate.

Another woman has made an appeal on Facebook for the return of her vehicle after it was stolen from a staff parking area at the recently opened McDonald's Restaurant at Raumanga.

The theft of the Honda Odyssey happened about 8pm on Monday and was captured on security camera footage.

It appeared four males were involved.

Mr Fagan said thieves went to a garage at the rear of a One Tree Point business and took two fishing rods about 9pm on New Year's Eve. The owner chased the two males down the road and recovered his rods.

And in another success story a $16,000 boat taken from Station Rd in Kamo was recovered from a property in central Whangarei after a photo of the boat was posted on Facebook.

Mr Fagan said police were making further inquiries and no charges have been laid against the occupants of the property where the boat was found.