Taranaki police hunting burglars who took 10 expensive high-powered guns say they can't rule out the weapons were stolen to order.
The guns, along with other possessions, were stolen from an arms safe at a lifestyle block in Stratford on New Year's Day.
Police believe the burglars knew the owners of the property on the eastern side of the Pohukura Saddle on Ohura Road would be out all day.
Acting Senior Sergeant Phil Taikato told Radio New Zealand's Summer Report programme on Wednesday the house is in a very rural location with a steep driveway.
"As far as we're aware they've levered their way in through one of the windows into the house and then they've done the same to the gun safe."
Mr Taikato says those involved knew a four-wheel-drive would be needed to get to the property.
The thieves also took a green Daihatsu Terios, which they later abandoned and police are interested in sightings of the vehicle.
Police are also asking for sightings of a dark blue or black station wagon parked in the vicinity at the time.