BILLIONAIRE mining magnate and Newcastle Knights owner Nathan Tinkler and his family were asleep when thieves broke into their Merewether home and drove off in his $500,000 Ferrari.
The robbers are believed to have gained entry to his Ocean Street home through a sliding door on the bottom level between 11pm on Saturday and 1am yesterday.
Once inside, they went straight to the kitchen where they took wrist watches, laptop computers and a digital camera.
They also found the keys to Mr Tinkler’s 2010 black Ferrari California, believed to be one of only five of its type in Australia.
Police believe the thieves then left the area in the Ferrari, which boasts a state of the art security system making it difficult to start.
They said it was too early in the investigation to determine whether the theft was a professional job by criminals working in major car rebirthing rackets involving expensive cars.
It was also not clear whether Mr Tinkler was specifically targeted.
Mr Tinkler, Australia’s richest man under 40, and who owns the Knights and Newcastle Jets, did not wish to comment yesterday.
‘‘A family of four, who were asleep on the first floor of the home when the break-in occurred were not threatened or injured at any time during the incident,’’ a police statement said last night.
Mr Tinkler plans to renovate the property, which would make it Newcastle’s most expensive home – a $13.3million mansion over two blocks perched over Dixon Park Beach.
It will include impressive views of Merewether Beach, six bedrooms, a swimming pool in a central courtyard, a basement garage and cellar.
Information can be forwarded to Newcastle City police or Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.