Police had chased a stolen car from Rotorua around midnight - and that vehicle was abandoned near the Taupo home in the early hours when the occupants fled on foot.
The homeowner had heard the commotion outside during the night,
"It sounded like someone ran down the driveway," he said.
"I heard a clatter and it sounded like someone jumped the fence which set the dogs off.
"I went outside to see what had happened and the police yelled at me to stay inside.
"I never would have thought a loaded gun would be sitting on the driveway the next morning. The neighbour's kids play outside there all the time, we're just lucky they were not around."
Nutters with hacksaws - Scum that our Police have to deal with.