A Rawene firefighter has a message for the thief who pinched the town's fire siren - come and join the brigade.
Station officer Nopera Pikari said the fire siren - one of two that was atop the local fire station - was a lifeline for Rawene.
"I'm not even angry. It's quite sad that this has happened because of all we do for the community. All I ask is for the person responsible to return it and, better still, join us, because we need volunteers."
Rawene's acting fire chief, Glen Johns, said stealing from a volunteer emergency service was about as low as you could go.
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The brigade relied on pagers and the two loudspeaker horns, one pointing in each direction of Rawene's main street, to alert volunteers to car crashes, fires and other emergencies.
The remaining horn still worked but the fire siren was now harder to hear in one direction, potentially delaying the brigade's response and putting lives and property at risk.
"It's pretty low to do that to an emergency service. It's not right. We don't take kindly to that kind of thing here."
Mr Johns said Rawene police were notified after the theft was noticed last weekend.
He urged anyone with information about the theft to contact their local police station.
Someone in Rawene would know who was responsible.
The horn could not be used for any other purpose and was of no use to anyone, he said.
It would be replaced by the Fire Service.