Two men "doing the right thing" led to two Whangarei women getting their stolen car and property back, despite the gear being dumped well away from where the alleged thief tried to sell the vehicle.
John Tee, who owns Pik Yr Parts Vehicle Recycling in Kamo, recovered the stolen car and even kept the alleged thief occupied until police arrived.
Bruce Scott found thousands of dollars worth of horse grooming equipment that had been stolen with the car but dumped at the Kauri Saleyards.
The saga of the two Good Samaritans happened after the women, who do not want to be identified, had their Honda Logo stolen from outside a Tikipunga house on April 20.
Inside the car was thousands of dollars worth of horse grooming equipment and one of the women told the Northern Advocate she was gutted when the theft was discovered and they never expected to see the car, or the horse gear again. But in stepped Mr Tee and Mr Scott.
The alleged thief took the car to Pik Yr Parts the following Wednesday and told Mr Tee he had a Daihatsu Charade to sell.
"That got me thinking there was a problem straight away, because it was a Honda Logo. Whenever we buy a car, we have to go through a set procedure and while I was doing that, it came up that the car was stolen," he said.
So Mr Tee rang the police and kept the man talking until they arrived and he was arrested.
Meanwhile, Mr Scott discovered the horse gear at the Kauri Saleyards the same Saturday they were stolen and put an ad in the Northern Advocate's lost and found section. The woman said she was delighted to discover the property found by Mr Scott was all the stolen horse gear. She was doubly amazed when she heard the car had been found intact too.
"We were so thrilled. It was really odd that they dumped the horse gear and we thought it was gone for good but Bruce found it and we are really pleased to get it back," she said.
"And to get the car back as well was just amazing, especially when it was two different people doing the right thing to help us. We were quite shocked when it was all stolen but it was great for John Tee and Bruce Scott to help get it all back."
Mr Tee said car thieves often tried to sell vehicles to wreckers but checks would quickly identify if they were stolen.
"We always do our job properly and it was good to see it helped the ladies," he said.
Mr Scott said he only did what anybody would do and he was pleased the women got the property and their car back.