A rural Carterton house has been trashed in what police have described as the worst case of home vandalism they have seen, causing at least $20,000 worth of damage.
The shattered owners had bought the house only a week before the break-in, and said they felt "totally violated."
Intruders took thousands of dollars worth of new appliances including a large screen plasma television, fridge and washing machine, slashed soft furnishings, smashed chairs and tore out the hot water cylinder.
A set of knives was thrown into the walls, leaving them deeply embedded in the gib board.
The owners, a Wellington couple, would not be named but spoke to the Times-Age about the shock of discovering their "piece of Wairarapa paradise" wrecked.
They were at a loss to know why the thieves, who smashed their way into the empty house sometime last week, decided to also wreak havoc on the house.
"If they had just taken the stuff and gone it would have been bad enough but this..."
The owner said he and his wife felt "totally violated by what these animals have done."
"We want them caught before they can do the same to someone else."
The owner said the damage was so vicious that police had immediately asked the couple whether they had any known enemies.
"We said we had no enemies at all."
The owners have estimated that total losses, including the need for structural repairs to gib board, will be at least $20,000.
Senior Sergeant Warwick Burr of Masterton police said investigators with many years' experience had described the house as being the most vandalised property in memory.
The knives thrown into the walls was considered to be deliberately intimidating and bizarre.
Mr Burr said it was obvious the thieves had to have had either a commercial vehicle or a large trailer.
"There is no way they could have loaded that amount of stuff into a car."
Police wanted to hear from anyone living, or who had been visiting the Mt Holdsworth area last week who noticed anything suspicious or saw a suspect vehicle.