Coert Bosman had only just finished paying off a loan on his biltong trailer when it got nicked from outside his home in the cover of night.
The Whangārei man and his wife Anamika are being forced to cancel online orders for biltong dried meat that were usually sent out to buyers starting Monday morning while hoping to get their distinctive trailer, The Biltong Shed, back.
It was towed away sometime between 1.30am and 9.30am yesterday from a grass verge outside his home on Pompallier Pl in Otangarei.
"Perhaps a quick way for someone to get a stockpile in case Covid drags on. Preparing for the apocalypse," he said when asked why someone would steal such a distinctive trailer.
He's put posts out on social media about the theft and contacted Whangārei police shortly after discovering it missing about 9.30am yesterday.
The trailer, he said, cost him about $45,000 plus a few thousand dollars for the wrap around and had close to $10,000 stock in it when it was stolen.
"I've spent the last four years paying it off and just received an email from the finance company on Saturday saying congratulations you've paid off your loan."
Bosman works another job and sells from the trailer on Port Rd on weekends.
He and wife Anamika field orders from Friday to Sunday, pack the products ordered, and send them out on Monday mornings.
On Saturday, Bosman said he was open until 6pm then went to Auckland for shopping and when he returned about 1.30am yesterday, the trailer was still outside his home.
"My neighbour's mum said she heard something around 4.30am and we were told by
someone they saw the trailer being towed by a black ute heading north through the Kamo bypass.
He has had the trailer for three years.
Bosman said losing the trailer when he's just finished paying it off was gut wrenching.
He also takes his trailer to Semenoff Stadium during major sporting events but cannot do that at present because of level 2 restrictions.
Whangārei police are investigating the theft.