A sneaky burglar stole keys from a person who left them on a bank while going for a swim, broke into the person's car and stole their belongings before returning the keys.

The person went for a swim at a swimming hole off Waiotapu Loop Rd on Saturday night between 8pm and 10pm.

When they returned, they discovered someone had used the keys to unlock their vehicle and steal items from inside, Rotorua police crime prevention manager Inspector Brendon Keenan said.

Stolen was $450 cash and a backpack.

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The same thing happened the following night when a tourist went for a swim at the same swimming hole.

This time two bags were stolen, a black one and bright blue and orange one. Stolen items included $120 cash, Czech passports, international drivers' licence and Czech credit card.

Runaway thief

A resident on Tilsley St woke about 11.20pm on Friday to the sound of a truck door closing. When he looked outside, he saw a man walking away from his vehicle.

The resident went to his vehicle in an attempt to follow the man, but found the ignition barrel had been damaged.

Keenan said the resident decided to follow the suspected offender on foot and phoned police while he trailed him.

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Police dogs tracked to Sumner St but no one was found, Keenan said.

Crime spike but overall offences coming down

Burglaries and thefts from cars have risen during the past week but overall reported crime is down during the past year.

Keenan said there were 144 reported offences during the past week relating to residential and commercial burglaries and thefts from cars.

During the past week there were 55 reported domestic violence incidents, which was well down on the previous weekly numbers which were around 100, Keenan said.

He said overall crime year to date was trending down, with 14 per cent fewer reported offences.

Strong presence

Police are making sure they are regularly patrolling flood-hit areas.

Keenan said the last thing flood victims needed was looters so police were maintaining a strong presence in the Ngongotaha area following the April 29 floods.

Anyone who sees suspicious activity should call police immediately.

Stolen vehicles

The following have been stolen in the past week.

A 1995 green Mitsubishi Lancer registered TO1794 was stolen from State Highway 5 near Whakarewarewa on Sunday.

A 2011 red Honda motorcycle with no registration was stolen from Oturoa Rd on Friday.

A 2012 white Holden Commodore registered GFK830 was stolen from Oturoa Rd on Friday.

A 2002 white Mitsubishi Challenger registered DUDY was stolen from King St on Friday.

A 2015 blue tandem trailer registered 2B374 was stolen from Waipa State Mill Rd on Friday.

A 2015 silver home built trailer registered 2U161 was stolen from Paradise Valley Rd on Wednesday.