Thieves have no qualms entering offices to take valuables like handbags and phones left on desks, police say.
Summer is the prime season for what police refer to as ‘stairdancers', North Shore Police community area manager Senior Sergeant Clare Robertson says.
Office workers need to remain vigilant about securing their belongings away from potential thieves, she says.
"Store your belongings out of sight, in drawers and not within easy reach."
The North Harbour Business Association (NHBA) has joined police in warning employees to beware.
NHBA crime prevention specialist Anna Crane says people should not hesitate to approach suspicious visitors.
"These criminals can slip in and out really easily and are generally very quick to think on their feet.
"Don't be afraid to challenge anyone lurking where they shouldn't be."
Items that are easily lifted such as iPads, laptops, phones, wallets and handbags are most appealing to thieves, Ms Robertson says. Valuables left in cars parked outside offices are also a common target.
"When people are on their morning tea or lunch breaks are typically when office places are most vulnerable, but they can strike at any time."
And they do not always look how you might expect, Ms Crane says.
"They are very clever and think it through."
The key to preventing this is to look after your stuff and keep an eye on your front door, she says.
"People feel secure in their own work place and naturally feel safer during the day.
"But they must realise criminals are active at all times of the day."
- © Fairfax NZ News