A farmer attempted to block thieves with her quad bike when she caught them stealing petrol from her farm shed.
The incident happened on a farm between Te Awamutu and Arapuni about 5.50am on Saturday.
"A woman was returning home from milking on an Arapuni Rd property in Parawera when she found two males helping themselves to fuel in a storage shed," said Western Waikato Area Commander, Inspector Naila Hassan.
"While calling for help the woman has attempted to block the offenders in by parking her quad bike in the middle of the drive but the offenders have rammed the quad bike out of the way to make their escape."
Ms Hassan said the victim did not get a good look at her attackers but was able to confirm both were men and one had a beard.
Their silver, older model, four-door sedan was last seen heading towards Pukeatua, she said.
The offenders stole at least one 200-litre fuel container.
"Our staff investigating the incident are particularly keen to hear from anyone with any information on the car, the identity of the offenders or anyone selling fuel in the area," Ms Hassan said.
Ms Hassan said while police understood the frustrations of victims who find thieves stealing their property, particularly in rural locations where help is further away, they urged people not to place themselves at risk.
"By backing off and obtaining timely and accurate descriptions of offenders and their vehicles, you're not giving the offenders a free run, you are instead providing crucial information to us enabling us to respond more effectively.
"At the end of the day property can be replaced but lives can't."
Anyone with any information on Saturday morning's theft is asked to contact Te Awamutu Police on 07 872 0100.
Rural crime prevention
• Report it. Often rural crimes aren't reported. Ring 111 for urgent matters or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 with information about crimes that you have heard about.
• Ensure boundary fences and gates are secure.
• Consider installing security lighting around implement sheds, milking sheds and farm houses.
• Make sure valuable items such as fuel, chainsaws, firearms and farm vehicles are secured when not in use.
• Make use of your neighbours to keep an eye on each other's property. If going away for the holidays let them know, where possible have someone stay on the property and avoid placing messages on social media about your absence.
• Lock fuel bowsers and tanks to prevent thefts or damage.
• Consider installing gateway alarms or CCTV cameras to record any vehicles entering your property.
• Can you secure stock yards by locking gates on loading ramps?
• Take note of suspicious vehicles and advise the Police. Remember if something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't.