Police have arrested a 28-year old woman in relation to the theft of seven large, valuable and unique custom-built trailers with a total value of $60,000 to $80,000 taken from a Levin business last weekend in a huge and brazen theft.
Two of the trailers have been recovered and police are looking for the others.
Trayla Trailers, a family business owned and managed by father and son team Dave and Ben Hobbs was targeted by thieves over two consecutive days.
Ben Hobbs said the first two were stolen between 4am and 6am on Sunday morning and were towed away by a car, after the occupants had parked behind a neighbouring building and climbed into the yard, cutting wires in a fence before smashing a padlock from the business's gate on Tararua Rd.
After leaving with one trailer, the vehicle returned for another, with the thieves closing the gate behind them to make the yard appear undisturbed.
Everything was caught on security cameras but the car's number plate was obscured in the footage.
Hobbs said it was a white Nissan possibly a Maxima.
Sometime on Sunday night, a different vehicle returned to the yard and thieves set about removing a further five trailers.
Hobbs said the vehicle was a ute, which was later reported as stolen.
He said cameras showed the ute driver appeared to know the layout of the yard and where to park and manoeuvre, as well as how the gate had been left, indicating the same person or people were likely involved.
Each time a trailer was stolen, it was towed east on Tararua Rd, cameras showed, and the ute returned within about 20 minutes, leading Hobbs to believe the trailers may have been stored somewhere in the local area after the thefts.
The stolen trailers were very large and unique, he said.
"Some we'd only built one of".
One trailer was a three and a half tonne-rated digger trailer with tall ramps on the back.
Others included a three by two-metre extra large trailer with a tall cattle crate on top, two large flat-deck trailers, a three by two metre trailer with an extending draw bar and a very identifiable electric tipping trailer that was unfinished with no floor or electric mechanism yet installed.
Hobbs said their total value was between $60,000 and $80,000 - a huge blow to the family business just before Christmas.
He said the trailers were unique and represented a lot of hard work and expertise in their construction.
"This is unacceptable behaviour that causes financial damage to retailers," said Detective Sergeant David Wilson.
"Police believe other people were involved in this incident and we are following strong lines of enquiry to locate them.
"We would like to thank members of the public for the information provided to Police so far."
Anyone with information that may assist this investigation is encouraged to call 105.
The woman will appear Palmerston North District Court on Thursday.