Two women were arrested in Warkworth last week after allegedly attempting to burgle the Stirling Sports store on Queen Street in the late afternoon.
The women broke through a window at the rear of the building. They were discovered when people buying takeaways nearby heard suspicious noises and went to take a look.
The people took videos of the theft and waved down police officers, who were driving on their way to another job across town.
Police apprehended one of the alleged thieves, but the other fled in a vehicle. During her escape, the woman rammed a police vehicle causing substantial damage. It later had to be towed away.
The Police Eagle helicopter was deployed and located the vehicle driving at the southern end of Warkworth.
Police car units closed in, preventing the woman from fleeing town and she was apprehended near Pulham Road.
It is understood that the women were from Auckland. They appeared in the North Shore District Court last week.
Warkworth Police Sergeant Mark Stallworthy said the successful arrests and return of the stolen goods were thanks to the assistance of the public.
“Police rely on the public to be their “eyes and ears” and in this case it was crucial,” he says.
Asked if burglary in daylight hours was common, Sgt Stallworthy said increased patrols in the evening during lockdown had likely deterred thieves.