Smash, cash and carry – How to avoid theft over Christmas

The theft before Christmas could be coming to a doorstep near you.  

If you’re like the growing number of Kiwis who’ve been shopping online this year, then you should have your items delivered to where you’ll be during the day, or risk thieves doing their own style of shopping.

If you can’t be home, take advantage of the courier companies that let you have your deliveries hidden in a special place, left with the neighbours, or at a drop off point that you can collect from later. Keep tempting items away from the doorstep, gate or overstuffed letterbox and out of view of opportunistic thieves, because out of sight is out of mind.

This sentiment also holds true for unloading shopping and groceries from your car, especially if you park near the road and in full view of passers-by. If you can’t park in your garage, then shut and lock the boot and doors to your car between each trip to the house, or have someone wait with the items while you unload. Did you know that while nearly 90 per cent of Kiwis lock their car, over a third risk having possessions stolen because they continue to leave them in the car?

According to the AA Insurance Driver Security survey, nearly three quarters of Kiwis who had their cars broken into, also had their contents stolen, including smaller items like spare change and groceries.

So, no matter where you are this summer, remember to keep your belongings out of sight, and under lock and key!

Here are some more tips.


  1. Don’t advertise the fact your home is unattended by leaving messages on your answering machine or on social networking sites, or having parcels delivered to an empty house.

  2. Gifts under the tree are tempting for thieves so make sure they, and other valuables, can’t be seen from the outside the home. Also, be careful when disposing of any tell-tale packaging.

  3. Let your neighbours know if you’re going to be away, give them your contact phone number, and ask them to clear your mail, put washing on the line, or park in your driveway.

  4. Make it difficult for someone to break into your home – lock your shed, put away your tools and wheelie bins, and trim trees and shrubs so there are no places for burglars to hide.

  5. There are a wide range of security options to help protect your home that often complement each other, such as alarms, security lights, and deadlocks on doors and windows. But they’ll only work if you use them – even if you aren’t out for long.

Theft from cars

  1. Lock your car, no matter where it’s parked and keep your keys with you. Try to park in open, well-lit areas, or an attended, secure parking building.

  2. Take valuables (e.g. wallet, sunglasses, mobile, iPods) with you, don’t leave in the glove box or under a seat.

  3. If you need to leave items in your car, then keep them in the boot where they can’t be seen. Don’t have them on display.

  4. Remove the detachable faceplate of your stereo, GPS cradle and mobile charger.

  5. Install additional security to your car such as an alarm, or immobiliser, to help deter thieves.

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