The thieves who broke into Auckland woman Tania Parker's garage and stole two high-end mountain bikes only live about five minutes down the road.

She knows this because she has seen them brazenly riding the bikes and has taken photos as proof.

Despite the fact Parker knew where the bikes were being kept, police told her last week they could not help get them back, even after one man kicked Parker's car when she and her partner drove past taking evidential photos.

It was only once Parker's husband declared he was taking a gun to get the bikes himself that police sprung into action, she told the Herald.


Parker said she was "rather angry" with Manukau Police, who told her on Saturday night there was not enough evidence to execute a search warrant at the suspects' house .

The burglars smashed a window in her Papakura home and swiped the two bikes, valued at $8000-$9000 together, while Parker and her family were at a friend's house for dinner on Friday.

On Saturday Parker's partner drove through Rosehill and spotted people riding the bikes. He called 111 and followed the thieves in his car, but was told police did not have any units available.

"They knew he was following them, they were just looking at him and laughing," Parker said.

Half an hour later Parker joined her partner in the car and the couple did loops around the block, photographing the group . After several loops, one man kicked their car.

Parker called police again, hoping they would now have someone available. She was again told they were too busy.

She asked the operator if they would send someone if she was to walk up to the group and get assaulted, but was told she should not do that.

"You always think, you call the police - especially if it's in progress, like, 'I'm watching them ride my bike, it's there, it's right there - and you're telling me not to do anything, but you're not willing to do anything either'."


Exasperated, Parker and her partner went to the Manukau Police Station later that day, where officers took their statements and said a search warrant would be executed later that night.

Tania Parker's mountain bike was stolen from her garage after thieves smashed their way in. Photo/Michael Craig
Tania Parker's mountain bike was stolen from her garage after thieves smashed their way in. Photo/Michael Craig

However, she received an email about 11pm saying there was not enough evidence to execute a search warrant, as the bikes had only been seen outside the property.

Parker was particularly upset considering the nationwide push for police to prioritise burglaries - in August a new directive that police would attend all household burglaries came into effect.

She said the fingerprinting team did come to her home after the burglary but getting police to retrieve the stolen bikes was a different story.

"The most frustrating thing is that you kind of expect that when you call the police and when something's in progress that they will do something.

"What do you have to do to get the police to come out?"


Parker was also worried about safety, considering her house was currently not secure following the break in, and the burglars had seen her taking photos and shown aggression.

Counties Manukau South acting area commander Inspector Mark Rowbottom said there were unfortunately no free units available when the Parkers first called saying they could see people riding the bikes.

" There was a high number of calls for service over the weekend and we have to prioritise jobs where there are threats to people's safety," Rowbottom said.

"Certain criteria must be met in order for a warrant to be granted to search an address. In this case, on the weekend there was insufficient evidence to meet this criteria and the victim was advised.

"Police have today [Monday] recovered one of the bikes from an address in Rosehill. This file is being managed by our Tactical Crime Unit and we are continuing to make enquiries to locate the second bike."

Parker said her bike was retrieved after she posted photos up on various community Facebook pages asking for information. A member of the public told her they had seen the bike being taken into a property.


Parker's husband called police but was again told there was nothing they could do, she said.

"Andy just said 'I'm going to go and get a gun and go around to the house'," she said.

After that, police showed up at the Rosehill property and took back the bike.

In March, the Herald's Hitting Home series revealed that 164 burglaries went unsolved each day in the year to December 3, 2015 - a resolution rate of just 9.3 per cent.

Hitting Home used exclusive data to reveal that police logged 97,707 burglaries in the 18 months after a new recording system was introduced on July 1, 2014.

At a territorial authority level, Auckland had 34,555 burglaries, followed by Christchurch and Hamilton, which had 8824 and 5232 respectively. Next were Rotorua, Whangarei, Hastings and Wellington.