A rifle and ammunition were stolen from a parked car by teenage boys during a crime spree across the Hamilton suburb of Hillcrest early today.
Six boys, aged 13 to 16, have been arrested after 12 cars were broken into. The teenagers are being interviewed by police.
Among the items stolen was a .308-calibre rifle. The weapon was found this morning at a Fenwick St, Hillcrest, property.
The string of thefts began about 4am.
A man called police after spotting three teenagers on bikes trying to break into his car in Masel Ave, Hamilton City area commander Inspector Greg Nicholls said.
The man followed the trio to Hillcrest Park, and a police dog and handler were called in.
After a 3-kilometre track, two teenagers were caught in Nevada Rd, and another two were arrested a short time later in Hillcrest.
A fifth alleged offender was arrested at the Fenwick St property where the rifle was found, and a sixth at an undisclosed location.
Police believed others may have been involved in the thefts, Nicholls said.
It is likely the six boys will appear in the Hamilton Youth Court today.
If you suspect your car has been broken into, call the Hamilton police on 07 858 6200.