Police have identified a teenager as part of an investigation into a spike in vehicle crime in parts of the North Shore.
The 14-year-old has so far been linked to more than eight vehicle thefts and has been referred to youth aid.
Police believe he is part of a small group responsible for an increase in reports of car thefts and break-ins across Bayswater, Devonport, Belmont and Hauraki areas.
Waitematā East Area Commander, Inspector Stefan Sagar says reports relating to vehicle crime from the community had increased in the past few weeks.
“I would like to acknowledge the Takapuna and Devonport communities, as these reports have allowed our investigation teams to focus their efforts and identify an offender,” he says.
“This shows what can be accomplished when we work together to prevent crime in our community.”
Inspector Sagar says the 14-year-old is expected to appear at North Shore Youth Court at a later date, facing charges of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle.
“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.
“Please also ensure valuables and credit cards are removed from vehicles at night, particularly if cars are parked in the open,” he says.
“Police will continue to actively patrol the area, in particular the Devonport and Takapuna areas.
“We continue to encourage residents to report any suspicious activity to us.”
Anyone who 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.
Holly McKay/NZ Police