A giant, bronze, $55,000 gnome has been stolen from outside a central Auckland art gallery.
CCTV footage has shown a group of thieves dressed in hi-vis vests and hoodies spent an hour on Christmas Eve meticulously unbolting the sculpture from its concrete plinth.
Standing two metres tall and made entirely from cast bronze the gnome vanished at around 11:30pm on Christmas Eve.
The sculpture named 'Thinker' by artist Gregor Kregar had been on display outside the Gow Langsford Gallery in central Auckland.
Gallery Director Gary Langsford returned from the Christmas holidays to find the gnome was gone.
"We had some interest in the work prior to Christmas so when we first noticed it wasn't there we assumed perhaps one of the girls had sold it," he told Newshub.
But after checking the CCTV footage Mr Langsford discovered the group spent an hour unbolting the gnome from its concrete plinth.
"[It's not easy to move so they brought equipment to unbolt it, and enough manpower to lift it and obviously put it in a vehicle and take it away," Mr Langsford says.
The thieves managed to successfully move the statue without being questioned but Mr Langsford says wherever it has ended up it won't be difficult to spot.
"Look in your backyard, look over your neighbour's fence, and if you see a two-metre high bronze gnome, give me a call."
He's hoping to get the precious gnome back on display where it belongs.