Two French tourists have admitted stealing nine books and two historic maps worth about $15,000 from a public library in Christchurch.
In Queenstown District Court yesterday, Ilane Elie Benazra, 22, and Guillaume Ferdinand Pringault, 22, admitted theft by a person in a special relationship between May 17 and 20.
They were convicted and fined $500 each, and ordered to pay $7143 reparation.
Prosecuting Sergeant Ian Collin said both men were working for a contractor in Christchurch when they removed the books and the maps.
"They concealed the items in their backpacks and didn't have the authority or permission [to take them].
"[They] left some of the books in their vehicle with the window down causing [them] to be open to the elements.
"Five books and the maps sustained water damage."
Defence counsel Keith Newell said the men were both from Paris and in New Zealand on a working holiday.
"They borrowed the books. Some of the books were actually in French ... Unfortunately they didn't look after them. They didn't have any authority to remove them. They accept that."