A major police operation to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of stolen property is under way in the Far North following a ram raid at a Bay of Islands quarry.
The branch manager of Broadspectrum's Puketona Quarry, Mike Grimshaw, said the offenders had driven through one fence then cut their way through a second on Saturday night.
They had then taken an estimated $250,000 worth of road-contracting machinery and broken into the site office as well as three utes parked at the quarry.
Staff had been working at the yard, on Puketona Rd near Paihia, on Saturday afternoon and secured it before going home.
The thieves did not enjoy their ill-gotten gains for long, however.
Details of the police recovery operation are still sketchy but frontline officers, detectives and a vehicle towing firm were working all day Monday at a property on Whakataha Rd in Waimate North, near Tauwhara Marae and a stone's throw from historic St John the Baptist Church.
Broadspectrum staff were seen recovering a road sweeper while a towing firm removed an upmarket caravan, reportedly stolen in a separate incident a week earlier.
Other vehicles and machines, also thought to have been taken from Puketona Quarry, were recovered from another property in the Kaitaia area.
Police were not available to comment on Monday.
Mr Grimshaw said the theft of the equipment had meant the cancellation of some road resurfacing jobs yesterday.
Australian-based Broadspectrum, formerly Transfield, is one of the biggest contracting companies in Northland.
Puketona Quarry supplies much of the road aggregate used in the Mid North.