Police are warning Kapiti car owners to keep tabs on their vehicles, as thieves zero in on Subarus and Mazda Demios.
"Certain vehicles appear to be more attractive to thieves than others and there is something you as owners can do about this, especially owners of Mazda Demio vehicles and Subaru cars," said community engagement supervisor Sergeant Yvette McKelvie.
"While police do patrol regularly, we encourage owners to keep vehicles safe, by taking some very basic precautionary measures.
"There are ways to do this without it costing too much. Whether the cars are being targeted for people to steal items from them, or worse, steal the entire car, here are some ideas for making sure this is less likely to happen."
Motorists using non-monitored car parks or even simply parking outside their houses on dark streets are urged to take valuables with them when leaving their vehicles.
"It's vitally important to make sure technology is not left attached to windscreens," McKelvie said.
"Leaving these valuables in plain sight presents opportunities for thieves."
Thieves break windows, take items in view and quickly leave the scene.
"At least lock your vehicle – and to make it even safer, you could get a steering lock, car alarm or vehicle immobiliser installed.
"Not only are offenders stealing items from the cars, sometimes they are breaking in to steal your whole car. Offenders will often target a number of cars in close proximity, which causes a spike in car crime in those areas."
Often when vehicles are stolen they are used to commit further offences such as burglaries and aggravated robberies, McKelvie said.
"If we catch these offenders we can actively reduce the impact this has on people who are victims of not just the car thefts, but potentially other serious crimes.
"We are proactively targeting those offenders who are committing these crimes and will hold them accountable for their actions, while minimising their ability to reoffend, but the public need to take measures to protect themselves too."
Police would like to hear from anyone who may have information to assist police in relation to car thefts.
Any suspicious activity can be reported to the Kapiti Police Station on (04) 296 6800 or the Porirua Police Station on (04) 238 1400 during business hours.
"But if you see something you think is suspicious or out of the ordinary and you can see it happening at any time – dial 111 and we will get staff there as soon possible," McKelvie said.
Information can be provided anonymously to CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.
Police also encourage the public to use the SNAP service to record serial numbers and details of valuable items.
This helps to identify and return property if located when stolen.
Information on the SNAP service can be found at www.snap.org.nz.