A Mount Maunganui tyre shop owner has become an internet sensation after confronting a group of people to get his stolen mag wheels back - and capturing it on film.

Ethan Bryant, of Cooper's Tyres, arrived at work today to find a set of mag wheels, worth about $800, had been stolen overnight.

The shop posted on social media, asking people to be on the lookout.

Just three hours later, he had a tip-off about where the wheels were.


Bryant drove to the address and demanded them back - and captured it all on film.

The video already has more than 130,000 views, just seven hours after it was uploaded to social media.

Bryant told the Bay of Plenty Times "I thought 'bugger it' I will just go and grab the wheels back".

"As soon as I arrived I knew they were ours. It's not often you see them in a heap like that unless they're at the shop. They were just right next to the caravan."

Bryant said he didn't feel overly intimidated, but ensured he kept his distance.

He said the feedback from viewers of the video today had been "crazy".

"We have had messages from people in the USA, Canada, and Australia - all over the world. My family members have been calling too."

Bryant said he had used social media in a similar way before.


"We had some stuff dumped out the back of our shop at one stage. We posted a picture of it on Facebook and said there would be no repercussions if they came and picked it up after hours. And sure enough, they did."

In today's incident, he also contacted police, and local scrap dealers about the thefts, and the video description of the alleged offenders, before taking matters into his own hands.

"The police said they couldn't guarantee the camera footage was enough evidence to lay charges at that stage."

Bryant said the wheels had not been damaged.

A police spokeswoman said police did not recommend people take matters into their own hands.

''Doing so puts people at serious risk. We ask that people contact police or Crimestoppers (anonymously on 0800 555 111) and let police take the appropriate action.''

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Stolen Wheels Recovered Through the Power of Social Media in Mt Maunganui. /Cooper Tyres