Gisborne Police have apprehended nine youths, following multiple reports of vehicle break-ins over the past few days.
Police were notified of a number of vehicles being broken into in Mangapapa on Sunday night and Fox Street early on Monday morning.
Staff responded to the area and Police dog teams were used to successfully track and locate the youth offenders.
Five of the youths have been charged with the unlawful taking of three vehicles and breaking-in to a further three.
The remaining four offenders, aged under 13, have been referred to youth services to ensure they are held accountable and supported to prevent them from re-offending.
Tairāwhiti Area Prevention Manager Inspector Darren Paki says the quick actions of frontline officers and dog handlers meant the youths were apprehended very quickly.
“Police were alerted to the vehicle break-ins straight away, which meant staff were able to track the offenders.
“This shows what can be accomplished when we work together to prevent crime in our community, and I encourage the public to report any suspicious behaviour immediately.”
We also encourage people to keep in contact with your neighbours and to let each other know if you see anything unusual.
“I would also like to use this opportunity to remind the public to ensure your vehicles are secure.
“We urge people to take preventative measures in order to stop their vehicle being stolen, such as locking and parking vehicles off the road, using steering locks and engine immobilisers.
“In addition, please ensure valuables and credit cards are removed from vehicles at night, particularly if cars are parked in the open.
“The best option still remains having your vehicle in a garage if possible.”
Police will continue to actively patrol the Gisborne area.
Anyone that sees suspicious activity around vehicles can call Police on 111 if it’s happening or 105 after the fact, or call anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.