A biltong trailer stolen while its owners slept was dumped on a farm just north of Whangārei hours later with its generator and cash missing.
The distinctive trailer was taken sometime between 1.30am and 9.30am on Sunday
from Pompallier Place in Ōtangarei and was seen being towed by a black ute heading north through the Kamo bypass around 4.30am.
Owner Coert Bosman had only just finished paying off a loan on it when it was nicked.
He put posts out on social media after discovering the theft and received a Facebook message on Sunday afternoon by a member of the public who saw the trailer at a farmhouse in Whakapara. Bosman drove up and called police on the way.
The stolen generator had been bolted and locked to the trailer while an undisclosed amount of cash was missing.
"Equipment inside the trailer were either taken or damaged while being towed. The stock ended up falling on the floor which I'll get rid of.
"I haven't quite checked as police were dusting for fingerprints but I don't think they took the biltong. However, I'll get rid of the stock which is worth close to $10,000 because of the risk of contamination.
"I am just happy to get my trailer back. It's now a matter of police finishing their work and then I'll clean it up and stock up ready for trading," Bosman said.
He said the generator without its key was worth about $5000 and if anyone was offered a generator without a key it there was a good chance it belonged to him.
Bosman and wife Anamika are forced to cancel online orders for biltong dried meat that were usually sent out to buyers. The trailer cost him about $45,000 plus a few thousand dollars for the wrap.