A Whangarei burglary victim believes youths who he suspects invaded his home have gone a step too far, killing a nest of baby birds then defecating on his lawn.
Thieves used a chair to climb up a balcony and then through an unlocked window on the top floor of Brad Wynyard's Tikipunga home between 5.20pm and 6pm on Tuesday.
Mr Wynyard said normally his family were very security conscious and all windows were shut when no one was home but this clearly illustrated how devastating opportunistic thefts were. He warns others to lock up coming into the summer holiday season.
Jewellery, including sentimental antique heirloom items, milk, yoghurt and icecream out of the fridge and expensive car models were taken. Most of the items were found stashed in nearby bush, except for the jewellery.
"They've left their calling card on the lawn and it's disgusting," he said.
"It's one thing to burgle a house but to kill animals is one step too far. What happens when they are older? What will they be doing then?"
He said the four baby birds had been in a tree outside the house and the family had watched their development. It appears the thieves used the same chair to reach the nest, smash it to the ground and then stomp the baby birds to death.
"They just didn't fall out of the nest. They were mangled, squashed and were in bits."
Police were due to carry out finger printing yesterday. With warmer weather on the way people would be wanting to open up windows and potentially leave homes susceptible to thieves.
Senior Sergeant John Fagan said properties should be made secure and that included locking all windows.
"If people can see windows are open from the street they are looking for every opening just to get into a house," Mr Fagan said.
"Even upstairs windows are fair game and those who are determined to get through will find things around the house, like chairs and ladders, to access them."
He said there was also a trend for cars parked on streets and even in driveways to be broken into and stolen, particularly around the Otangarei area.