A recently finished tsunami evacuation bridge in Tauranga has come in handy already - for two burglars escaping the scene of the crime.
The men fled over the Calypso Drive footbridge in the suburb of Papamoa when a 40-year-old man arrived home to find them in his living room.
Police today located what they believe to be the getaway vehicle, and said its owner was helping with the investigation.
"The owner is to be charged with a number of burglaries from here and possibly the Hamilton area," Sergeant Phil Gilbanks of Papamoa police said.
He told Fairfax Media the suspect was believed to be behind six local burglaries in the past week.
The thieves abandoned bags of meat and a television on the patio when the homeowner discovered them around 6pm. He pursued on foot, and the men ran across the evacuation bridge, dropping a camcorder during the chase.
Gilbanks said the community had been "absolutely brilliant" in helping catch the suspect.
The men were described as Maori, about 20-25 years-old, 1.80m tall, and wearing dark coloured pants and hooded sweatshirts.