Key Points:

A car-thief had his plans for a day of crime brought to a sudden stop after the GPS tracking system in the van he'd stolen led police straight to him.

North Shore Senior Sergeant Jenni Richardson said police received a phone call from a West Auckland flooring contractor about 11am yesterday, saying his van had been stolen.

"It was a work van and had a GPS tracking device on it and he was tracking it on his computer because he was at home in New Lynn. He was saying to us, `it's driving along East Coast Rd and it's heading towards the North Shore'."

As the owner kept police at the northern communications centre updated on where his van was heading, the Eagle helicopter and patrol cars were sent to the scene.

Inspector Les Patterson said the man was "somewhat perplexed" when he was swooped on by police until he was told of the tracking system in the vehicle.

"We got there before Eagle even got over the top of us and stopped the vehicle," said Ms Richardson. "He got out and said `yip I did it, you've got me' and made a full and frank admission."

The man - who had a warrant out for his arrest on other matters - was armed with tools for breaking into vehicles and admitted that he was on his way to a day of crime.

Ms Richardson said it was the first time she had been able to track a stolen vehicle through GPS, which made for a good outcome on all fronts.

* A 22 year old Henderson man will appear in the North Shore District Court tomorrow morning charged with unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, possession of instruments for conversion and failing to appear in court on other unrelated matters.