A search warrant executed at an Auckland home led to the recovery of gear stolen from a champion swimmer's car while she was at a celebration dinner with her family.

Marina Macartney's valuable surf-lifesaving gear was stolen while she was at an Epsom restaurant last Monday. She had just returned from the Gold Coast, where she won a silver medal at the Surf Lifesaving Australia Pool Rescue Championship, when her car was broken into and three bags containing swim gear, as well as a handbag, camera and cellphone, were pinched.

She was devastated, but on on Friday, police contacted her. They had arrested a man and a search of his home had uncovered some of the stolen items.

Yesterday, Macartney went to the Avondale police station, where she got about half of her stolen swimming equipment and personal items back.

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The 24-year-old said that while it was a relief to get some of these items back, she still found it "so strange" that somebody would steal equipment used to rescue people.

"It's just a shame that you've got people stealing stuff like that.

"It's the weirdest thing, you're trying to do something for the community with your lifeguarding, and then somebody goes and takes gear away that's useless for them, but so important to you."

Her custom-made Waterway fins are still missing and so are her mother's camera, phone and handbag.

She hopes her fins will turn up somewhere, and asked members of the public to keep an eye out for them online or at the pools or beach. She would have help from the surf lifesaving community with this, she said.

Macartney said the fins would be useless to anyone else as they were made specifically for her feet and were very uncomfortable.

She has events next month and nationals in October, and will use an old pair until she can afford a new custom-made pair - valued at about $800.