The theft of six firearms in a burglary of a Whangārei home sparked a massive police hunt involving armed police and a police dog.

It is understood the Tikipunga home owner arrived at his property to discover the burglary in progress about 2.30pm yesterday.

Officers quickly scoured local streets, finding the firearms an hour later in the back of a vehicle.

Police confirmed two people had been arrested but they were still looking for one other person. Police are making further inquiries to locate them.

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Shortly after police were called about the burglary about four police cars were parked outside a property in Tikipunga and about six officers could be seen in the front yard.

Police responded quickly after a report of firearms being stolen from a Tikipunga property. Photo / NZME
Police responded quickly after a report of firearms being stolen from a Tikipunga property. Photo / NZME

Only a matter of a few kilometres away three officers dealt with a man, who was handcuffed, on Charles St. A four-wheel-drive vehicle in Charles St was searched by officers and the firearms located.

A dog handler was called to Charles St and started tracking a person believed to be involved in the burglary.

Traffic was stopped to allow the dog and handler to cross State Highway 1 and follow the railway tracks north and then towards Pipiwai Rd.

However, the handler and dog were called off the track about 4.30pm.

The theft comes as police launch into another phase of their gun amnesty and buyback events across Northland.

On Tuesday at Barge Park there were 78 people at the event, who handed over 128 firearms and 346 parts. There are eight more events in Northland before the deadline on December 20.

A six-month amnesty and buyback scheme was put in place after gun law reforms - supported by all parties except Act - banned most military-style semi-automatic firearms after the March 15 terrorist attacks in Christchurch.

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