Christchurch Police have noticed an increase in the number of number plates reported stolen in the last few weeks and say it relates to the price of petrol rising.
Detective Senior Sergeant Virginia Le Bas says that there has been a noticeable change in the last few weeks.
"I haven't seen such a number of thefts of plates being reported before on such a regular basis. We know these are being used in petrol drive offs," she says.
Given these thefts and the number of car arsons occurring in Christchurch, motorists are being advised to make an effort to park their vehicles off the road where ever they can, or in a well lit place where it can be seen from a house or building.
In another warning to the public, DS Le Bas says people need to double check that there doors are firmly locked at night. Several incidents have been reported recently where a burglar or an opportunist has got into a house through an unlocked door.
"It's a good idea to lock your doors when night falls," she says. "Do check that all doors and the garage are secure before you settle in for the night. Particularly check the back door or an outside door that is not often used."
Bad weather will not hold all burglars back.