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Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Please attribute to Inspector Phil Gillbanks, BOP Police District Manager – Youth, Community, Family Harm. 

Bay of Plenty Police are concerned about a spate of vehicle thefts across the wider BOP and Waikato areas. 

Inspector Phil Gillbanks says “Police are committed to actively investigating vehicle theft and holding offenders to account. However, Police cannot be everywhere at once and cannot deter opportunistic thieves on our own. We urge people to take preventative measures in order to prevent their car from being stolen in the first place.”

Thieves are targeting the following vehicles:

Mazda Demio, Nissan Tiida, Toyota Aqua, Toyota Corolla, Mazda Attenza, Subaru Legacy.

They are predominantly stolen by young people and are being used for joy-riding, and conducting aggravated burglaries of liquor stores, suburban dairies and large retail stores. 

Some offenders are as young as 12 years old, which raises serious concerns about the safety of the child, their passengers, and the public. 

Police are seeking the help of vehicle owners to make their vehicles less attractive for theft. We encourage vehicle owners to take the following prevention measures:

1. Ensure the vehicle is parked off the road, out of sight, or in secure car parking where possible

2. Fit an after-market vehicle alarm or vehicle immobilizer

3. Use a steering wheel lock at all times – purchase from any automotive store for less than $100

With the public’s help, Police and partner agencies can continue to hold these young offenders to account, while also supporting them on a better path away from future offending.   

If you notice suspicious activity around cars, please contact Police on 111 if it is happening and 105 after the fact.


Issued by Police Media Team