A spate of vehicle thefts has thrown a spanner in the works for two Whangārei businesses while an 80-year-old could be forced to buy another car after hers was stolen while she slept.
Two days prior to the recent spate of thefts, a digger was stolen from a construction site on Mill Rd and a businessman leasing the machinery has put a reward for information leading to its discovery.
Whangārei police said it was too early to say whether any of these reports were connected and that enquiries were ongoing.
"Police have recovered some of these vehicles reported stolen and some have also been recovered with assistance from the public.
"There are a number of enquiries being made into the reports and this remains ongoing," he said.
Octogenarian Eliza Daniels Tanira got ready for church on Sunday morning only to discover her 2004 Mazda Demio which she had for 12 years went missing from where it was parked on the street.
She reckons it was stolen between 1am and 6am on Sunday because her car was there when her son came home at midnight.
"To see it not there was a shock but I've got over it because there are a lot of people who are cold and hungry. I am fortunate I've got a roof over my head," she said.
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Tanira borrowed her son's car and made a startling discovery on her way to church.
"Guess what, there was this little blue car parked on the side of the road on Morningside Rd and I knew it was mine. I was so excited, went back home, told my son to get the keys,
and went back to my car but the back window on the driver's side had been broken and
"I just had a new ignition put in three weeks ago and paid $900 and am still paying off the bill and I don't want to be stuck with another bill.
"I think it's very sad what happened but I also realise Mazda Demio has come into the spotlight for thieves because they are easy to steal. It's a little nanny's car," she said.
Tree Wise Northland had two highly sign written utes nicked from outside a garage on Western Hills Dr sometime on Friday evening and director Aaron Bradley said the theft had been "an absolute pain".
His company undertakes professional tree felling.
"I live in my ute, it's got my whole life in it. Now I am being forced to drive around in my sister's vehicle. Who would steal signwritten vehicles?"
To make matters worse for his family, his dad's work vehicle next door with Ian Bradley Electrical signs was also stolen around the same time.
It was found at Ranger Pl in Raumanga on Saturday afternoon while Bradley's flat deck ute was discovered the same day but it was a wreck.
His Wildtrak Ranger was spotted in Onerahi and in central Whangārei on Saturday but was still missing yesterday.The thefts have impacted his work, including difficulty in transporting workers to and from work sites.
"One truck was full of tools and a stump grinder control which isn't available in New Zealand. I bought it from the States. My ute tows it. It's just been an absolute pain.
"The Ranger keys are still hanging in the garage but the vehicle is gone. It had my diary and job quotes in it. It's very annoying."
Bradley said he'd really like to get his job diary and the stump grinder remote back.
In another case, Broadspectrum workshop supervisor Stuart Broughton had a leased digger parked on Mill Rd stolen sometime between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning last week.
He had it for two to three years.
Another digger next to the stolen one got vandalised.
"You never know why someone would steal what they want to steal. It throws a spanner in the works dramatically. I had to hire a digger."
He has put an undisclosed amount in reward for information leading to the recovery of the stolen digger.
Anyone with information can contact him on 021375207.
Information on the thefts can be passed on to the Whangārei Tactical Crime Unit on 105.
New Zealand police data shows that a car was vandalised or stolen every 21 minutes in 2019 and 24,416 vehicles were either stolen or broken into throughout the country.
That was an increase of 2655 cars from the previour year.