The owner of a New Lynn car dealership fears two performance cars stolen from his garage will be chopped up and sold for parts.
Yesterday, thieves smashed their way into Leo Jiang's dealership, J's Auto Import, and stole four performance vehicles and a safe.
A 2015 Porsche GT3 worth $220,000, a 1999 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution V and 2007 Honda Civic Type-R, both worth $20,000, were among the cars taken. A non-street-legal track car was also taken, Jiang estimated its worth to about $50,000.
"For the Japanese performance cars [Lancer and Civic], people would chop it up and sell the parts," Jiang said.
"That's normally what happens to them - take the parts off and sell them separately."
The Porsche, Jiang's personal car, would normally not be left in his garage overnight but on Saturday he decided to drive home in another car due to the bad weather.
He was shattered and heartbroken when he arrived for work at 10am yesterday, discovering the easily-recognisable car, among others, had been stolen.
"Not many people would steal a car like that," he said.
"A car like that, you can't sell the engine, not a whole car, no one will buy it. No one is stupid enough I don't think."
Since yesterday, it had been spotted throughout South Auckland, at 3pm in Titirangi and around 5pm or 6pm in Wiri, he said.
Jiang believed the thieves were still driving around the high-performance vehicle.
One of the four cars stolen, Jiang's prized Nissan 180SX, modified for the racetrack, was found yesterday afternoon.
Following a post to social media by a friend of Jiang's urging people to keep an eye out for the vehicles, someone messaged in saying they had spotted the track car.
"He saw my car, matching the one from the photo, so he texted us ... and the police as well," Jiang said.
After it was located, police took the car away for forensics. Jiang hoped police would find something and also speak to the tenants of the property about their connection.
Jiang wanted to thank all of those who had reached out to him since the vehicles were stolen from his garage, and said he was "really grateful".
Anyone who might see any of the vehicles was asked to get in touch with the police straight away, it would be the easiest thing to do, he said.
A police spokesperson said a forensic examination of the scene had taken place and police will also examine the recovered vehicle.
"Police attended the scene initially [yesterday] and spoke with the victim and indicated that a detective would be attending the scene," they said.
"They were unfortunately unable to attend at the time due to attending another job and we regret this not being communicated to the victim at the time.
"Police have since made contact with the victim regarding our investigation."
• Anyone with information or who saw anything suspicious is asked to contact Constable Max Wille on 021 192 2282, or to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.