A sleeping Hamilton woman woke to find a burglar rifling through the jewellery box in her bedroom in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Two hours later another resident was threatened with a box cutter after the man was confronted while attempting to steal a car.
Soon after he was spotted by Hamilton police who gave chase on foot over a fence where the man was arrested in the backyard of a property.
Sergeant Mark Phillips, of Hamilton police, said one officer received minor injuries after the man violently resisted arrest and capsiucum spray had to be used.
Sergeant Phillips said the man, a 36-year-old from New South Wales, targeted a number of Hamilton homes and cars. He will appear in Warrnambool Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Sergeant Phillips said that in one brazen incident a woman woke up about 4.15am when the burglar was in her room looking through her jewellery box.
When the woman asked what he was doing, the man told her he was looking for someone and then fled.
Police are unsure how many houses and cars were targeted, but residents had been reporting the break-ins throughout the day.
An attempted break-in at an engineering business on Coleraine Road overnight is also being investigated and anyone who heard the alarm is urged to contact police.
Meanwhile, the tyres on a Hamilton police car parked at the BP service staion were slashed while the officers were conducting a walkthrough at nearby hotels about 1am Sunday.
Sergeant Phillips warned that the fine for carrying a knife in a licenced area carried an on-the-spot fine of $2000. Anyone with information should contact police.