A stolen car was recovered from the beach just in time before it was bogged down by the tide.
The stranded car was found near Harrisons Cut in Papamoa.
Police believe it was stolen sometime overnight.
A Papamoa police officer said they were called to Harrisons Cut about 9.45am and found the abandoned car stuck in the sand.
A tow truck was immediately called to recover the car from the incoming tide.
"The tide was starting to go around the wheels. We got there just in time,'' the police officer told the Bay of Plenty Times.
Meanwhile, a second car was stolen in Papamoa last night from the same area where the first car was taken.
The police officer said the offenders appeared to have pushed the car down the road in an attempt to start it, were unsuccessful and left it abandoned in the middle of the street.
"We believe it is the same offender or offenders who took both cars,'' the police officer said.
The ignition barrel of one car was damaged but otherwise the cars were unscathed. The two cars were returned to their owners today.
Police are investigating both instances of theft.
Earlier in the weekend, police recovered a car that was found abandoned on the beach at the far end of Papamoa east. Police are also investigating this incident.
If you have any information about the stolen cars or saw the cars on the beach, contact Tauranga police on 577 4300.