Police in Christchurch are urging people to be extra vigilant after a spike in burglaries.
Last weekend there were about 40 break-ins in southern suburbs, including Thorrington, Ilam, Somerfield, Riccarton and Halswell, police say.
The number of burglaries since the devastating earthquake on 22 February has risen and thieves have been targeting abandoned and severely damaged houses.
However, police say this latest surge involves burglars breaking into homes that are still occupied - and that is a real concern.
Extra patrol cars will be sent to the areas and police will follow up all reported break-ins with a full forensic examination.