Theft on the rise in rural Hawke's Bay

Fuel and heavy-duty batteries have been thieves' main targets.
Fuel and heavy-duty batteries have been thieves' main targets. Photo credit: Getty

An increase in thefts from orchards and rural properties in Hawke's Bay has sparked a warning from police to be vigilant.

Police are investigating a number of cases after a rise in incidents over the past few weeks, with fuel and heavy-duty vehicle batteries the main targets of thieves.

"We urge people to be vigilant and to ensure their farm equipment and commercial vehicles are locked away out of sight," Acting Detective Sergeant Steve Leonard said on Thursday.

He said a number of vehicles and equipment had been seriously damaged by thieves trying to get access to batteries or fuel.

He recommended farmers and orchard owners use security options such as CCTV or a wireless alert system that activates an alarm in their house if someone enters an outdoor shed.

"These devices are highly effective and can even work in areas across some distance, where there is no cell coverage."

Leonard said another option was to install satellite GPS devices on items such as quad bikes and other machinery which can track them if they are stolen.