A Rotorua family's investment in security cameras has paid off after securing footage of a man snooping around their Rotorua house at the weekend.
Kelly Chandler said their Bidois Rd home, in the Koutu suburb of Rotorua, had been targetted by thieves in recent months so they decided to spend $600 on security cameras.
At the weekend, the cameras caught a man sneaking around the outside of their house. Overnight a skateboard and a hose fitting went missing from their property.
Chandler said she and her husband and two children, aged 17 and 12, got to the stage where they didn't feel safe in their own home.
"There's an old lockup storage shed nearby with no safe fencing whatsoever and that property is being used to access our backyard. We definitely recommend cameras as peace of mind. We may not know who they are, but someone will know. I'd be able to tell if that's my husband, dad or brother so someone else will be able to too."
Chandler said their cameras sent a message to their mobile phones if someone was detected on their property but unfortunately her phone was off overnight Saturday and didn't pick up the presence of the man at 12.30am. She realised when she turned her phone on at 8am Sunday.
She called police immediately and officers had been to their house and carried out forensic testing.
"Rotorua has become an absolute disgrace of a city. We both work and provide for our family and the fact they can do this is s**t. And when caught, they get a slap on the hand. It really makes us angry."
She said the first time someone came on to their property about seven months ago, someone broke into their shed and stole an empty cigar tin and a puncture repair kit. The second time, they got into their car and stole $3 and a cloth to wipe sunglasses.
Despite the thefts being of little value, Chandler said it was enough for them to spend $600 on the security cameras.
"If it's the same person, he might only be starting. That's what worries me ... he's having a good look around too."
Rotorua police area commander Inspector Phil Taikato said seeing footage of someone creeping around your property could be unsettling and he urged anyone who saw it happening via their security cameras to call 111 to activate an immediate response.
"CCTV footage does provide pretty good evidence that helps our investigations and the possible return of any property stolen or the investigation of a potential serial prowler.
"There are some cheap cameras around that are pretty easy to install by the layperson, there are also some very professional hi-tech products that are also within the reach of your layperson, but may need professional installation."
Police have confirmed they are investigating Chandler's complaint and noted there had been reports of other burglaries in the area.
A spokeswoman said police attended a report of a burglary at a commercial premises nearby overnight two nights earlier. Three premises had been broken into and several items taken.