Rural Ashhurst has become a hotspot for dumping stolen cars.
Residents in the area have been asked to keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour after three cars, two of which were stolen, were dumped on the Manawatu riverbed in the past two weeks, Constable Mark Glentworth, of Ashhurst, said.
In the past two days, a further two cars, both believed to be stolen, were dumped in Grove Rd and set alight in separate incidents.
Mr Glentworth said the cars were not being left in any specific place, but isolated areas without any homes nearby were typical.
Ashhurst was only a short distance from Palmerston North but it was also relatively isolated and rural, so offenders could dump the cars unseen, he said.
Police would increase patrols in the area.
Senior Sergeant Phil Ward said that two weeks ago three people, two men and a woman in their early 20s, were arrested and charged with theft of a motor vehicle after stealing a car from Palmerston North and dumping it in Ashhurst.
The three have been remanded in custody after police opposed bail.
A second group of teens was also being questioned after they were found near another stolen car in Ashhurst on Tuesday night.
Anyone who sees anything suspicious is asked to contact police on (06) 351 3600, or give information anonymously through Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.
- Manawatu Standard
If you had a choice, which would you prefer on Christmas day?Related story: Sun takes a Christmas holiday