A Tauranga man is convinced a group of experienced trailer thieves are operating in the Bay of Plenty, following the theft of his beloved race car trailer.
Chris Hawkes was having the day off work on Friday to attend a friend's funeral, leaving the house a little later than normal.
He left his house in Windermere around 8am and noticed his race car trailer had been taken.
After scouring CCTV footage he found the thieves had only been around an hour earlier.
Although Hawkes caught the entire theft on camera, he was unable to find any identifying features on the vehicle or occupants.
The car had no number plates and the thieves were all wearing hoodies with flashlight belts around their waists.
"These guys had definitely done this before."
He said the car drove up to his trailer at around 4am on Friday morning but Hawkes had a number of locks on the trailer, which made it difficult for the thieves to take it.
The car left and then came back at around 7am with bolt cutters, managing to detach the trailer and put it on their vehicle in just a few minutes.
"They must have been experienced."
Hawkes said it was bold of them as they came back at a time when he was normally around and if he had been going to work that day, he would have caught them.
Funnily enough, his neighbour drove in around a minute after the thieves left, he said.
"They would've just looked like a standard car towing a trailer."
Hawkes said police had managed to track the car up until the Bombay Hills near Auckland then lost sight of it.
In his opinion, these people were the types that would steal trailers and sell them on in places like Auckland.
He said he was told if he did not get it back within the next week, then it wasn't likely he would.
However, Hawkes has many friends in the racing industry and was harnessing the power of social media to make sure everyone had their eyes out for it on the streets and online.
Hawkes said he believed trailer thefts were becoming more common in the Bay of Plenty.
According to New Zealand Police data, a total of 92 trailers had been stolen in the Bay of Plenty over the last six months - more than a quarter of the total number of stolen vehicles.
In June, community gem Jase Lunn had his trailer stolen from an address in Judea.
Lunn was well known in Tauranga for helping people out through initiatives such as his annual Christmas toy runs for needy families, something he would use the trailer for.
The community rallied around Lunn to help him out after the trailer was stolen.
A police spokeswoman said there had been no arrests for the incident and inquiries were ongoing.
She said when it came to trailer thefts, it was all about prevention first and often trailers were simply parked in front of houses and garages with no security mechanisms in place.
She said people were advised to use locks, wheel clamps and chains to keep their trailer extra secure and keep them in secure, well-lit and hidden areas.
They also advise people to mark their trailer with something unique and identifiable, as it will be easier to identify if stolen.