Two people are in custody following a spate of car thefts in the Nelson Bays Area this week.
Nelson Police are investigating the theft of five vehicles overnight on Wednesday and a further three overnight on Thursday.
Overnight on Wednesday a Mitsubishi ute which was stolen from Richmond was recovered crashed in the Lee Valley.
A Nissan Mistral stolen from River Terrace in Brightwater was recovered over a bank on the Takaka Hill.
A Mitsubishi Triton ute also stolen from Brightwater is still outstanding.
A Toyota Camry stolen in Takaka was recovered in Takaka and had been abandoned.
A green Subaru stolen in Takaka was recovered in Lud Valley north of Nelson and had been burnt out.
Last night a Ford Courier ute that was stolen from Rai Valley was recovered in Nelson after a short pursuit.
A Toyota Corolla stolen from Cable Bay was recovered from behind the Hira store and a Nissan Caravan stolen from Atawhai was located in Rai Valley and had been burnt out.
Nelson Bays Police Response Manager Senior Sergeant Shane Miles said the common theme with the offending was that people were leaving keys in their vehicle.
He said that over the last month 26 cars had been reported stolen in Nelson Bays. Of those only five had not been recovered.
“We have had very few cars broken into. In the majority of these cases people have left their car unlocked and with keys inside.
“Offenders are telling us they go around trying car doors and when they find one unlocked they’re straight in.
“They’ll take anything of value and if the owner is generous enough to have left the keys as well they’ll take the vehicle for a spin as well.
“My message to the public is lock your car, even when it’s parked at home. These offenders don’t want to go to the bother of breaking in and then trying to get a car started.
“People often say to us they don’t want to lock their car because thieves will just do more damage getting in, but the evidence we are seeing does not support that view.”
Senior Sergeant Miles said the evidence gathered in the last two nights suggested the same group of offenders had been involved in the thefts from Golden Bay and over to Rai Valley.
A 19 year old Nelson Man will appear in the Nelson District Court today charged with unlawfully being in a yard.
A 16 year old Nelson boy has been charged with unlawfully taking a vehicle and will be dealt with by Youth Aid.
Police are seeking sightings of the outstanding vehicle from Wednesday night, a silver Mitsubishi Triton, registration BYF210. This ute was taken from Factory Rd in Brightwater. Anyone with information should call Nelson Police Ph 5463840, or Crimestoppers Ph 0800 555 111.