A bag of expensive golf clubs belonging to a member of the visiting English cricket team had been sitting unattended in a public part of a central Auckland hotel before it was stolen by an opportunist, the hotel's manager says.
CCTV footage shows a man strolling through the Pullman Hotel in the Waterloo Quadrant on Sunday with the bag slung across his shoulder.
Hotel operations manager Zac Lumsden said the clubs had been left in a downstairs function area accessible from the street.
"You can access it if you wanted to come in to the hotel for a coffee or whatever. There's no swipe or anything to get into the hotel.''
The clubs' owner had not noticed that they were missing until yesterday, following England's nail-biting test match finale with the Black Caps at Eden Park.
The hotel had strict security procedures, including CCTV and full-time security guards, and the whole hotel was locked down to the public at night, Mr Lumsden said.
"I think it was an opportunist-type thing. Normally we don't have any occurrences like this at all.''
Hotel management handed CCTV footage of the thief over to police, who appealed to anyone with information to contact them
Golf Warehouse Newton store manager Conal Cooke estimated the bag and its contents - which included a set of Mizuno irons worth about $1500 and a set of Taylor-made R11 irons worth some $800 - would cost about $3900 new.
"That's a very good set of clubs, not the best you can get, but still very good,'' he said.
Police asked secondhand traders to keep an eye out for the equipment.
Anyone with information was urged to contact the Auckland tactical crime unit on (09) 302 6656 or anonymously on Crimestoppers, 0800 555 111.
The team and management are no longer in New Zealand.