A TikTok account showing people stealing cars and driving recklessly in Whangarei has surfaced.
The social media account, with the username edubs.stole.my.car, posts videos showing cars with smashed windows and broken ignitions.
The account's most popular video has the camera pointed out the back window as it speeds down Kioreroa Rd with a police car in tow. The car then turns down Port Rd, dangerously driving on the wrong side of the road and driving onto the footpath.
They also have posted what seems to be an alleged admission to a robbery. The video shows a news photo of the robbery attached to a video showing a hoard of alcohol and cigarettes.
A spokesperson for the police said they had no knowledge of the account.
"We are disappointed to see these types of dangerous acts as depicted in this video for the sake of a social media trend and would ask that this not be replicated."
The videos are still active on the account.
Recently police have said that social media sites like TikTok have become a motivating factor behind the rise in youth crime.
Police Minister Chris Hipkins says "the desire for made-for-TikTok videos" and the quest for notoriety in the media was playing a major part in the rash of ram raids by young people.
Hipkins made the comment at a select committee appearance alongside Police Commissioner Andrew Coster, saying media coverage of the ram raids was playing a part and some were simply "looking for notoriety".
Hipkins told media Police had advised him social media was playing a significant role in ram raids.
"The desire for made-for-TikTok videos, so these young people are filming their offending, they're putting it on TikTok, they want people to see it. I acknowledge there's a public interest in people wanting to know what's going on but to some extent that is feeding the notoriety challenge too. It's one of those intractable problems. There isn't necessarily a solution to that."
Youth worker Hadleigh Pouesi talked to TVNZ in April this year about this trend, saying that he agreed that social media played a huge part in encouraging the crime wave because everything else young people lived for - social interactions, sport, art and music programmes - were deemed non-essential by the pandemic.
"Your social life [now] belongs on your phone. Your affirmation belongs on your phone. What will you go through to get that affirmation?" he said.
"They're not getting that sense of belonging anywhere else; they're not getting that sense of community, so they're looking for their phones, they're looking for the @s, they're looking for the likes and the comments."