Two valuable paintings have been stolen in an early-morning art heist at a top Auckland gallery.
Police confirmed thieves struck in a ram-raid attack on the Parnell gallery between 3.30 and 4am.
Both paintings were done by Gottfried Lindauer in 1884, known as Chieftainess Ngatai Raure and Chief Ngatai-Raure.
Police say they do not know the exact value of the work, but have recovered the stolen vehicle used in the ram-raid.
On Parnell Road this morning, people out jogging or getting their morning coffee stopped amazed at what was clearly a brazen and well organised art heist.
A large window, about 2m by 2m, was completely smashed, with shards of the thick glass strewn across the pavement.
A large beam supporting the window was bent and buckled while the plaster board on the wall behind was badly dented.
A large landscape painting was leaning on the broken window frame perhaps it was too big to fit in the gap between the broken window and the display wall behind.
Police are now looking for a further vehicle that was seen leaving the scene and have asked for any information relating to the theft of these two paintings to be reported on 09 3026832, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
New Zealand Herald