Adventure toys have become hot property in Rotorua - with more than 30 mountain bikes and at least 10 kayaks stolen in recent weeks.

That's sparked police to ask for the community's help in recovering the missing equipment - which have been stolen from both tourists and locals.

Rotorua police area prevention manager Inspector Stu Nightingale said there had been a spike in kayaks and mountain bikes going missing.

"The kayaks being pinched is a little bit odd, they are a big item. In the last three weeks we have had seven reported stolen."


He said all but one of those were taken from properties backing onto water.

And the Rotorua Daily Post spoke to another lakeside resident who had three kayaks stolen recently but had not yet reported the thefts - bringing the total in recent weeks to 10.

Mr Nightingale said police were keen to hear from anyone who might have seen a "flash" kayak out of place or had been offered a suspiciously cheap one for sale.

Mr Nightingale said more than 30 mountain bikes had been reported stolen in the last six weeks, some valued at more than $4000.

He said they were being taken from locked garages, the back of vehicles, secured properties, the side of the street with people breaking locks. And it wasn't just locals losing their bikes with tourists being targeted as well.

"Rotorua is such a fantastic place for mountain biking and we have people come here from all over the place.

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"It's nothing short of devastating for them and completely ruins their holiday when they have their property stolen. It makes them think New Zealand isn't a safe place."

He said police wanted to hear from anyone who might have come across someone with a new bike that couldn't explain how they got it, or if anyone had been offered a good bike cheaply.

Rotorua deputy mayor and chairman of Mountain Bike Events Limited Dave Donaldson said he had been going to mountain biking events since 1996 and "there's always a group of thieves that target with the knowledge there are high end bikes".

He said he wasn't surprised Rotorua's bike theft statistics were high.

"I'm afraid that goes with being a mountain biking destination. Everybody needs to take responsibility and make sure their bikes are secured."

Local recreational kayaker Donald Calder said he recently had three of his kayaks stolen from a private bay at the bottom of his Hamurana property.

He said he hadn't had a chance to report the three missing kayaks to police yet, but he planned to on his next day off.

"Our property goes down to the lake and we don't look at them every day. I heard that there were some other kayaks taken from a neighbour and I went down to check ours and they were gone.

"It's a bit gutting. Whoever has done it has targeted them and gone looking for them because people don't have access to the bay. It's disappointing.

"I've lived there for 40 years and never lost stuff before and it's a bit of a worry."

If anyone has any relevant information about any of the missing items they can contact Rotorua police on (07) 349 9400. Anyone with information or footage is also asked to contact police. Information can also be provided anonymously via the organisation Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.