A spate of destructive mid-week break-ins has left Rotorua businesses thousands of dollars out of pocket.

Police have confirmed they are investigating at least five break-ins from Wednesday and Thursday this week.

Ambrosia Restaurant and Bar was the most recent target.

At 4am on Thursday thieves smashed a door and stole kegs of alcohol from the business on Eat Streat.


Manager and co-owner Kris Beehre said this was the fourth time Ambrosia had been broken into this year, leading to "substantial costs".

He said close to $10,000 of damage was caused this week alone.

"We lost about $1200 worth of stock and we had to replace the front doors by lunchtime to open. It was a hassle and it was expensive."

Beehre said the break-ins usually happened during school holidays.

"The second one this year was the most damaging. They broke the Point of Sale system. That alone cost $8000 to replace. It is a reoccurring nightmare."

He said Ambrosia had spent "a small fortune" trying to stop thieves.

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"It is frustrating. We have added cameras. We have invested heavily in security, but if someone is going to break in they will break in."

Beehre said the business' 12 security cameras had done little to help find the culprits of this week's break-in.

"They know they are there, so they do not look at them. They are covered up, they wear hoodies."

He said the thieves used crowbars to force their way in and "half their tools were left behind".

The Lincoln Bar on Fenton St was also hit about 4am on Thursday, when intruders broke through the front door, forced tills open and tried to take the coin safe.

Manager Te Hirata Papuni said the business had been completing "major renovations" and was hoping to reopen next week.

"We just got the front doors installed. They had been in for just under a month."

She said this was the first time the bar had been broken into under her management and the repair bill was "in the thousands".

The business has a new Chinese owner, based in Auckland, and this is his first Rotorua venture.

"He thought we were hit because he was new, or because he was Asian. He is disheartened, he thinks it is a bad omen. I have reassured him it is not a race thing, that they [the thieves] just saw an opportunity," Papuni said.

"From what we could tell from CCTV there were three people with crowbars. They smashed the door and went straight for the tills. They didn't touch any alcohol ... They knew what they wanted."

She said the tills had very little cash in them, and the safe was bolted down.

"We were really fortunate the owner was in town this week staying upstairs in an apartment. He heard the glass break ... He said it sounded like a gunshot," Papuni said.

"All he had to do was look at the [security camera] screen to know what was happening. By the time he got down here, they were running down the road ... They were only inside for 1 minute and 16 seconds."

Bike Force owner Lindsay Gemmell said it was about 12.45am that same morning when his Lake Rd business was targeted.

"They tried to get through the window but it was laminated and they could not break it ... The alarm went off when they touched the glass."

He said he did not know how many were in the group or who they were, but they cost the shop "a whole window".

When asked if he had been hit before Gemmell said: "Oh hell yeah".

"This is the first this year though. We have had windows broken and bikes stolen in the past."

A police spokeswoman said police were also investigating an attempted break-in at commercial premises on Pururu St, Mangakakahi and a burglary at 1.50am on Wednesday at the Four Square on Te Ngae Rd.