A stolen Jeep Wrangler was driven through the front window of a Whangārei jewellery business before thieves smashed display cabinets, took jewellery and drove off.
The early morning raid on Global Diamonds in Cameron St happened about 2.30am yesterday.
Shattered glass covered the front half of the shop floor with the security grille mangled in the middle of the business.
Display cabinets had been bowled over and damaged or shunted towards the rear of the premises.
The dark-coloured Jeep Wrangler was stolen from a Ngunguru property about 3am on Thursday.
Shop owner Barry Trass said the business had opened at the central city site in November, after moving from Rathbone St.
He said as part of security a fog cannon had been installed and was activated during the raid.
"As soon as the alarm went off the fog was activated. Within 20 seconds it can fill the whole place so they didn't have a lot of time to get a lot of stuff," Trass said.
"It's sad this sort of thing is happening in our town. You try to present a nice shop and do things right and this sort of thing happens ... it's a bit demoralising actually."
Yesterday amid a massive clean-up the business opened and customers continued to buy jewellery.
"It's been amazing, we have had so many people coming through and people bringing us cakes and flowers," Trass said.
Replacement glass for the front window would not be available for about a week so sections of plywood were installed yesterday.
Jenny Trass said the layout and design of the business had been two years in the making so to see it damaged was gutting.
"It's the inconvenience really and the destruction ... but we won't let this set us back. We will carry on."
What had been taken was not known exactly but it appeared at first glance to be items from a cabinet with precious gem stones and watches, Trass said.
Police confirmed a stolen vehicle had been used in the raid but had been recovered at Whangārei Boys' High School.
It had been towed and would be forensically examined. Anyone who saw the Jeep Wrangler in the area leading up to the ram raid or had been offered jewellery should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.