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An intruder apparently tried to gain entry to a house at Drivers Rd, Dunedin, about 9pm on Monday, but ran off when challenged by a resident, police said.
The front door had been unlocked but with a security chain in place when someone had attempted to open the door, Sergeant Steve Aitken, of Dunedin, said.
The incident highlighted the importance of keeping doors locked, and residents should call 111 if anyone attempted to gain unauthorised entry to a house in such circumstances, he said.