A Rotorua man has been left devastated after his electric gates were smashed and his "pride and joy" stolen, all on his 83rd birthday.
Jim Elley woke up at his Hamurana property this morning, ready to relax on his birthday.
However, as he made the walk down the drive to get the paper, he noticed his electric gates had been smashed and his neighbour's mailbox flattened.
As he made his way up to the garage, he found his beloved log splitter, worth more than $5000, had been taken.
His wife Juanita said the splitter was his "pride and joy" and allowed him to still get firewood for the pair in the winter months now that he wasn't able enough to use an axe.
"We didn't hear a thing," Juanita said.
The couple had gone to bed about 10pm and everything had been normal.
Now they have been left feeling shaken after a group of people, possibly with a trailer smashed into their property to take the big machine in the night.
The Elleys used to have a rhododendron garden that was open by appointment to the public, however, as they got older they decided to stop doing it.
Juanita believed the people who stole the splitter may have been at their property before, as it did not appear anyone else in the neighbourhood had been affected, she said.
"It really shows you the sort of people that are around ... I will be letting all the neighbours know."
She said their street had no street lights and had not been prone to burglaries.
Jim's birthday had been spent on the phone all morning urgently trying to get their electric gates fixed, she said.
"It has been quite stressful for him."
Thankfully, all Jim had wanted for his birthday was to "cook up a chook on the barbecue" and that would not be stolen from them.
The couple had reported the burglary to police.
A police spokeswoman said they received a report of a burglary on Ward Rd between 5pm yesterday and 7.30am today.
A piece of outdoor equipment was taken, she said.