About 10 cars a day are being stolen on the Kāpiti Coast and local community leaders are concerned social media platform TikTok has a role.
Police confirmed there were 290 vehicles stolen around Kāpiti in February, 310 in March and another 240 up until 20 April.
Just last week six young people – including two 12-year-olds – were referred to Youth Aid after they were “interfering with vehicles” in Waikanae Beach, according to police.
Community social media pages have several posts about vehicles being stolen, found or people catching thieves in the act.
Waikanae resident John Nelson had his family’s seven-seater Toyota Wish stolen on Monday night right outside his home.
No one heard a thing — “not even my dog heard them” — and he said it was devastating.
“We’re a single income family paying a mortgage and we rely on it for getting the kids to school and all sorts of stuff really.”