Glenholme residents are rallying to fight a surge in crime in their area with one victim saying "we shouldn't have to live like this".
Police say there has been an increase in car crime, particularly in the past year, and much of the recent spike has been caused by groups of youths coming to Rotorua from other regions in stolen cars.
Ariana Potaka-Dewes had borrowed her nan's Ford Courier truck to move house and it was parked outside their Ranolf St home on Monday. It was there around 8pm but within 15 minutes it was gone.
They later found out it was used in an aggravated robbery at the Gull Service Station on Lake Rd.
The next night, the ute was found dumped on Paradise Valley Rd. The ignition had been ripped out and there was minor exterior damage to an indicator light and the bumper.
Potaka-Dewes said a man who lived three houses away said his car had been tampered with on the same night. It followed her elderly neighbour having his vehicle stolen while he unloaded his groceries.
Potaka-Dewes said she was grateful to have her nan's truck back, but the experience had left her feeling nervous.
She said she felt like she'd only slept for five minutes in the past two days and she had spent the past few nights sleeping close to the front door of her home, noticing every noise outside.
"We shouldn't have to live like this."
A Robertson St resident, who didn't want to be named, said a man, who they suspected was high on drugs, walked on to their property on Tuesday about 2.30pm claiming to be looking for someone.
Their property had been burgled twice recently, prompting them to install a security camera. The camera captured the man walking onto the property and leaving again, looking around the property as he left.
The resident shared the footage online to alert others living in the area.
Neighbourhood Support street contact Tammy-Lee Holmes said it was great to see the community uniting.
"We can't get past the fact that there has been a lot of undesirable activity in our neighbourhood recently. But, what it does reinforce is we have a great community who are rallying together, getting to know each other and being more vigilant, with many putting more personal security measures in place."
She said Neighbourhood Support was taking an active role to ensure the community felt supported.
Rotorua police area commander Inspector Phil Taikato said police appreciated the work the community groups were doing to report crime in their neighbourhoods.
"We appreciate the continued inflow of information which is of great help."
He said the past year had seen an increase in car crime and there were several things locals could do to help prevent it.
He said locking vehicles at all times was a must, not leaving windows or the sunroofs open, not leaving valuables on display and parking in well-lit areas if you were away from home.
"When you're home, park in the garage, behind a locked gate or under a street light. And don't forget to lock your car, even when you're parked at home, behind a locked gate or in the garage.
"Don't get out of your car and leave the engine running or key in the ignition."
He said it was wise to invest in a vehicle tracking GPS because they were reasonably cheap and could be easily installed.
"If you notice strangers driving around your neighbourhood arousing suspicion, take the registration numbers and ring 105 with the information."