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Police are urging Dunedin residents to keep their sheds and vehicles locked following an increase in tools and other items being stolen in the past few months.
Senior Sergeant Craig Dinnissen said police had been notified of many incidents in Dunedin and Mosgiel over the past few months in which people were breaking into garages and cars and using their mobile phones to light up the areas.
A man was seen walking up and down Henderson St in Mornington and using his mobile phone light to look into cars earlier this week.
He was confronted by residents and left the area.
At 2am on Monday, a 25-year-old man was seen walking around Princes St and using his mobile phone light as he broke into an old building.
Snr Sgt Dinnissen said the man told police he was in the building to "see how it was looking" because he used to work there.
The man was pre-charge warned for being unlawfully in a building.
Snr Sgt Dinnissen said garden tools, chainsaws, scrap metal and other common items found in garages were being stolen and sold through social media pages, including Facebook marketplace.
‘‘If you do see anything suspicious it is important that you ring 111 at the time.’’
People should ensure their sheds and cars were locked and check to see if anything was missing, he said.