Thieves who cut through four padlocks to steal a Kaikohe tradesman's lifetime collection of tools also denied him a chance to fix up an old house so he'd have a place to live.
Warren Clark said the offenders took everything from chainsaws and power drills to a nail gun and a water pump when they raided his mother's property on Mangakahia Rd, near Kaikohe aerodrome.
''It's not just the loss of my gear. It's also the feeling of violation, that someone's come on to our papakainga. My mother feels scared. They've just come in and takahi (trampled) on us. To deny someone their tools, their bread and butter, is the lowest of the low.''
Clark said the burglary occurred on Sunday or Monday while his mother was out of town.
The thieves had cut a locked chain on the front gate, the padlock on a second gate, and padlocks on two roller doors.
Clark, who works full-time doing garden maintenance, said none of his family were wealthy, and he was living with and looking after his grandfather, who has renal failure.
High rents meant he couldn't rent a house but he had planned to fix up a vacant home on the family papakainga so he had somewhere to live.
''But those plans are all shot to pieces now. I can't fix it without tools.''
The qualified cabinetmaker said he had tool insurance for many years but gave it up this year when he could no longer afford it.
Over the past five years many homes along Mangakahia Rd had been targeted so it was time someone spoke out, Clark said.
As of yesterday police hadn't visited to check for fingerprints though he realised they were understaffed. Central government needed to resource police properly, he said.
Even the Far North District Council has been hit, with staff recently publishing a Facebook post calling for information about a burglary at the former Melka dog kennels in the same area.
The facility was bought by the council with plans to convert it to a dog pound, but a house attached to the kennels was stripped of much of its contents before work could begin.
Call police on 105 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, with any information.
■ The stolen items include three chainsaws (two Stihl, one Shindaiwa), a Victa Bronco mower, four cordless drills, a Makita right angle cordless drill, Makita electric planer, Makita electric jigsaw, Makita Mega Kit (including a blower, jigsaw, sabre saw and skillsaw), Makita biscuit machine, Makita holesaw electric drill, Blumole holesaw set, Paslode nail gun, carry box with Paslode nails and gas, industrial water pump in a cage, and Marples chisels in a chisel roll.