A Point Chevalier man has posted video to social media showing a brazen burglar ransacking his garage as his family slept - even stealing his dustpan and brush.
Sean O'Connor posted the video to Facebook earlier this month, asking "Anybody recognise this low life? Stole bike, weed eater, drill, leaf blower ... sleeping bag, broom and dustpan! a fricken dustpan!"
The burglar struck at 3.30am on a Monday morning, spending 40 minutes going back and forth from a garage on the property while the family slept inside the house.
O'Connor told the Herald that watching the footage was "pretty disturbing", noting that burglar had passed by the bedrooms where his daughters slept.
The thief was in no rush, spending 20 minutes inside the garage before coming out with O'Connor's mountain bike.
He returns twice more after lifting the bike, returning first for powertools before bizarrely returning for a yardbroom and then a dustpan and brush.
"Bikes are obvious, powertools are obvious," said O'Connor, adding that the theft of the cleaning gear "kinda just makes me laugh".
The burglary has left O'Connor feeling less secure at home and has been a wake up call on making sure that doors are locked, saying that on that night the door to the garage, which is usually locked "9 times out of 10", was left unlocked.
O'Connor said he still felt safe in the neighbourhood he has called home for the past 14 years, but was shaken by what might have happened if the man was disturbed.
"What if he had decided to enter the house?" O'Connor asked, saying that the loss of his possessions wasn't what had made the biggest impact on the family.
"The material stuff I don't really care about, it's all covered by insurance, but if I had of woken up and something had have happened ..."
"I'm not saying I would have done anything to him but he would have done something to me or my family."
Despite posting the video on Facebook, O'Connor hasn't yet uncovered the man's identity but had a message for the thief: "You're gonna get caught, you're not going to be able to get away with that forever."
A Police spokesperson told the Herald that Police received a report of a burglary from the garage on the property and that enquiries are ongoing.
Inside the criminal mind
Earlier this week, the Herald spoke to reformed burglar Adrian Pritchard about burglaries and the recent rash of sinister doorknocks.
Pritchard is particularly qualified to advise Kiwis on how to protect themselves from early morning robberies - he used to commit them.
"We used to knock on doors at 3 or 4 in the morning and we found out no one was there so we burgled the place," he said.
"Between 3 and 5 was our main time to hit the place."
"We used to burgle people's place when they're still asleep, burgle their sheds, take their power tools, take their cars, take whatever."
"Or we used to see a laptop just sitting on the sitting room table so we used to just smash the window quickly because by the time they got up and got going you'd be gone."
"It's not about insurance on your stuff, it's about people entering your private premises, that's your home, that's where you should be feeling safe."
Police recommend people follow this advice to keep their homes secure and suggested remembering these key points:
• Don't open the door to strangers. Install a peephole in your door. If you don't know someone, keep the door closed.
• Have a phone by your bed.
• Arrange with a neighbour to phone or visit you if your curtains are still drawn after a certain time in the morning.
• Never tell someone that you are alone in the house.
• Install a wide-angle door viewer so you can see who is at your door.
• Keep your doors and windows secure and close your curtains at night.
• Invest in good-quality, secure locks.