Five boys are in police custody after a vehicle pursuit, and a land, sea and air operation that eventually captured them in mangrove swamp near Point Chevalier, in Auckland.
Police were called after a bottle shop burglary in Takapuna just after 2am, and five males, aged between 12 and 15, were seen leaving in a car.
A police patrol spotted the car, which was pursued across the Auckland Harbour Bridge towards Point Chevalier.
The occupants threw wine bottles at the pursuing officers, police said.
Road spikes were deployed and the men abandoned the car, fleeing into the nearby mangroves of Waitemata Harbour.
Officers pursued the boys on foot, guided by a helicopter and supported by the maritime unit with an inflatable dinghy.
All five suspects were arrested after about 45 minutes in the mud.
The oldest boy will appear in the Youth Court this morning, while the others have been referred to Youth Aid.