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The situation was no joke for the 10 officers who went door-to-door across a large tract of St Kilda and South Dunedin yesterday to deliver crime prevention messages.
Crime statistics showed there was often an increase in burglaries and thefts from cars in the area in August, and police were out to reverse the trend, community relations co-ordinator Sergeant Steve Aitken, of Dunedin, said.
''We want to get the word out ... it is about people keeping themselves safe and their property safe.''
Residents were urged to keep an eye on their neighbours, lock cars and homes, leave no valuables in plain sight, and ''if you see anything suspicious; ring 111''.
Sgt Aitken stressed by removing valuables out of vehicles, anything from a handful of coins to navigation systems, residents would make it that much harder for thieves.
''Just don't make it easy for thieves,'' he advised.
Yesterday officers covered streets off Prince Albert Rd towards St Clair, and ''people were glad to see us out and about and were thankful for getting advice on how to keep safe''.