'Opportunistic' thieves target Christchurch suburb

(file)
(file)

A surge of break-ins and robberies have been reported around the Christchurch suburb of Riccarton, prompting warnings from police.

Thieves are targeting vehicles and properties around the area, which is home to many student flats.

Senior Constable Lyle Prior says over three-quarters of the cars stolen from the area were parked on the road. A few cars were targeted up driveways, but none were stolen from private garages.

"Opportunistic thieves appear to be targeting work vehicles, utes and tools. We understand that not everyone has the luxury of parking their vehicles in a locked garage or off the road but there are simple steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of your vehicle being targeted," she said.

Snr Const Prior also advised locals to set up a car alarm, lock their vehicles and keep valuables out of sight when leaving the car unattended.

"If you work in the trade and have tools in your vehicle, make sure they are marked and record serial numbers to help prevent them being sold on."

Tools can be catalogued with an online system known as SNAP, or Serial Number Action Partnership. A serial number is placed on the property and the owner is required to keep a photograph of every marked item. The tool makes it easy for police to identify any stolen property after the fact and return it to the rightful owner.

Locals should report any suspicious activity to police immediately through the 111 emergency line.

3 News