Glass repair companies in Masterton are being run off their feet after a spate of car break-ins.

More than 20 cars were broken into after their quarterlight windows were smashed last weekend.

Cash, bags, wallets and navigation systems were stolen in a spree that mainly hit the west side of the town.

Ewen Glass owner Peter Ewen said almost all the cars brought in for repair appeared to have been broken into with the same screwdriver, which left a distinctive mark.


He said most of the break-ins his firm was dealing with occurred on Sunday night around Renall and Perry Sts.

"It's never pleasant -- it takes away all the security of your vehicle. It's annoying, it's time consuming and it's a claim against your insurance. It certainly doesn't please anyone ... it's very unpleasant, someone trying to get in where they shouldn't be."

It was the worst spate of car thefts he had seen in about seven years, he said.

"We haven't had this amount of vandalism in a long time."

Some of the cars were parked on the street while others were parked in driveways.

Simon O'Donoghue, of Ziggy's Glass, said the company was repairing about 12 car windows and four shop windows on Chapel St that were smashed over the weekend.

One victim, who did not wish to be named, said her car was parked in the driveway when it was broken into.

"They smashed the car window, got into the glove box and took money."


She and her husband were watching television in the lounge and did not hear anything.

"It was only my car but it's still an invasion of my space. I worked my butt off to get that [car] and it's an invasion of my privacy."

"On Sunday night we couldn't sleep. Any little sound we got up and checked."

The thief also stole her husband's gumboots from the porch.

Police Senior Sergeant Mike Sutton said 23 car break-ins had been reported to the police over the past week.

Most occurred on the western side of the town but a few took place around Church St and at the southern end.

"There was a spate of vehicles broken into over the weekend.

"We have increased our patrols in these areas that have been hit, and reminded our staff to be vigilant about who is out and about," Mr Sutton said.

People were advised not to leave any valuables, including navigation systems, in their cars and to park in well-lit areas when possible, he said.