There has been a rise in burglary numbers in Christchurch following the February earthquake, including multiple break-ins in the same street.
Superintendent Andy McGregor says officers are attending about two extra burglaries a day at present - but this can sometimes be as high as seven or eight extra.
In most cases, the houses targeted have been abandoned by their owners after the 22 February quake or are severely damaged.
There have also been cases where single offenders have raided seven or eight houses in one street, Mr McGregor says.
Police have stepped up patrols, with eight or nine extra per night.
Residents living in streets with many abandoned houses should keep a close eye out for any suspicious activity, police warn.