Police: 160 vehicles stolen in just one month

File photo.

Police are reporting an increase in vehicles being stolen in the Rotorua area recently.

In the last month alone, a total of 160 vehicles have been reported stolen.

Police have been able to recover a majority of these vehicles but remind people to put prevention measures in place to avoid having your car stolen.

Area Commander Phillip Taikato says a lot of the time, these vehicles have been taken by people wanting to go for a joy-ride and in other cases offenders use these vehicles to commit other crimes.

"Prevention plays a huge role in deterring offenders from targeting your vehicle in the first place.

"Police need the public’s help to limit opportunist thieves’ access to vehicles by securing their property."

Phillip has the following prevention advice to share:

Invest in an anti-theft system, he says.

"These can range from a simple steering wheel lock to a full alarm system that will immobilise the car.

"The type that is best for you will depend on how much you want to spend and how high the risk is for your car.

"Giving the impression that you have an alarm system will sometimes be enough to deter thieves; stickers on windows or flashing LEDs on the dashboard can be all it takes."

He advises people to always lock their car, even when its are parked in their own driveway.

"It can take mere seconds for a thief to drive away with your car – and the valuables you keep inside it."

Phillip advises people to never leave keys in an unattended car, even for a brief moment.

"If you keep your house keys on the same keychain a thief could have both your car and access to your house.

"Avoid leaving valuables like CDs, laptops, mobile phones, GPS devices and iPods in your car. If you have to leave them there, make sure they are out of sight."

When parking at night, Phillip says people's vehicles are more vulnerable to theft.

"Try to park in well-lit areas and always be aware of what is going on around you. Keep the doors locked at night even when you’re in the car.

"Be sure it is safe to get out if you are alone and it’s dark."

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