The fibreglass statue of a US highway patrol office has been standing outside the Route 66 jeans shop in Newmarket, Auckland, for 25 years.

Or, rather, it was - until two people decided to take off with it on Saturday morning.

The iconic statue, a Newmarket landmark, was taken in the early hours of Saturday morning, after shop owner Todd Male forgot to take it inside before closing the shop on Friday.

"I'm devastated, frankly," he told the Herald.

CCTV footage shows the statue was taken at 6.30am on Saturday by two male construction workers.


"They picked it up and took it to the train station and stashed it down an alleyway," the shop owner said. "Then they're seen on CCTV walking across to the construction site, probably to start work."

The shop owner, who imported the statue from Arizona, says he is going to appeal to those who took the statue to just return it, no questions asked.

"I've laid a complaint with the police and I'm just waiting on the CCTV images to be released," he said this afternoon.

Once that's done, he'll print off some flyers and take them around local cafes, hoping someone will have seen or heard something about the disappearance of his beloved highway patrol officer.

"I'm just gonna let people know that if they know if these two people, tell them they can text me and I'll just pick it up, no questions asked. I might even shout them a dozen beers," he says.

The statue is unique and "quite valuable" and Male assumes it was stolen so they could sell it. "Either that or it's probably sitting in their lounge somewhere."

It's the first time in a quarter of a century that someone has actually taken off with the highway patrol officer that's become "a bit of an identity" in Newmarket.

Over the years, he's been knocked over a few times and then repaired. "I've left him out once or twice by accident and people googled Route 66 to find the number and call me to let me know he's out," Male says.


"But this time we obviously forgot and they couldn't resist."

Police have confirmed they're investigating the theft.

"Police are making enquiries into the matter. Early enquires suggest the statue may have been mistaken for rubbish. Police are urging any members of the public who may have mistakenly taken the statue to contact us to arrange its return to its rightful owner. Anyone with information is urged to contact Newmarket Police on 09-529 5647 or 105," a police spokesperson told the Herald.