The theft of two firearms from a Northland home has prompted police to issue a warning to keep guns locked away.
A Dargaville home owner called police after he discovered his home had been broken into and two guns and some jewellery had been stolen about 2.30pm.
The guns, a 12 gauge shot gun with 30 inch blue barrel and a camouflage semi automatic 12 gauge shot gun, had not been locked away.
Northland Police Operations Manager Inspector Marty Ruth says firearms owners must lock their guns away as required by the law.
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"Firearms that aren't safely stored are at risk of falling into the hands of criminals," Mr Ruth said.
This week an Australasian wide two-week campaign, aimed at encouraging the public to report firearms in the possession of unlicensed holders, began. It is the third time Operation Unification has been run in Australia and the first time New Zealand Police has been involved.
Mr Ruth said the Dargaville burglary was a timely reminder to keep guns safe.
"We are concerned by the number of firearms we find when executing search warrants and we need to get illicit firearms out of the hands of criminals for the safety of everyone."
People can report to Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or ring their local police station.