A stolen car was used to smash through the front door of a Whangarei dairy before three thieves rushed in, stealing cigarettes and an undisclosed amount of cash.
The ram-raid at The Korna Shop in Morningside happened about 12.25am yesterday and left the business owner and manager angry that they were significantly out of pocket, not only because of the stolen property and cash but because of the cost to repair the shop front.
The white Toyota Corolla was reversed into the front door shattering the glass and splintering the door frame.
The three thieves, caught on security camera footage, took the tobacco and cash and drove off, dumping the vehicle in Leith St opposite the store.
Business manager Amish Patel said a neighbour had called the police when she heard a loud "bang" and he was contacted by a security company shortly after.
"I came down and there was a hole in the wall," Mr Patel said.
"The police were here quick looking for the car."
Owner Pritesh Patel travelled from Awanui after hearing of the robbery.
"I've owned this for two-and-a-half years and this is the first time we have had trouble."
He was hopeful police would find the three thieves.
Whangarei police Sergeant John Fagan said the trio were heavily disguised but the car stolen from Tikipunga last Thursday would undergo a forensic examination.
He said a police dog and handler tracked the thieves from the end of Leith St through a walkway to Anzac Rd where the scent disappeared.
"We think they may have had another vehicle waiting for them."
He urged anyone who may have seen the white Toyota Corolla over the last few days to contact police or anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity on Anzac Rd.
The Korna Store has been targeted by thieves under previous ownership in 2014 and 2012, with one involving an offender armed with a metre-long machete.
Meanwhile, the Bay of Islands was hit by a spate of burglaries during the weekend which included store break-ins and a raid on a backpackers' van.
Acting Sergeant Mark Roberts, of Kerikeri police, said a rear door at Postie Plus in Waipapa was forced on Sunday night or Monday morning. Little, if anything, was taken.
Also targeted during the weekend were two homes in Kaikohe and Mexican-themed bar Diablo in Kerikeri.
Three young women from Germany lost most of their belongings when their van was raided between 10.30am and 1pm on Sunday.
The visitors had parked the white Honda Odyssey at Waitangi Bridge, near the old sugar boat, while they went on a three-hour kayaking trip.
They returned to find a window had been broken and items including backpacks, raincoats, a tablet, cameras, an iPod, a Kindle reader, an external hard drive and even a washbag had been taken.
Anyone with information about the crimes can call the Kerikeri station on (09) 407 9211.