Five people have been charged after the "aggressive robbery" of several overseas tourists in campervans parked in Cobden overnight on Monday.

They have been charged with aggravated robbery and burglary. Campervans parked at Cobden Bridge and Jellyman Park were targeted.

Three boys aged 16 and 17 appeared in the Youth Court yesterday and one of them, a 16-year-old, was remanded into the secure custody of a Child Youth and Family facility in Christchurch. The others were released on bail.

Overnight, police also arrested a 34-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man in relation to the same incidents. They appeared in the Greymouth District Court this morning and were released on bail, despite police opposing bail for the woman.

"We've now dealt to, we believe, all those responsible," Greymouth prevention sergeant Paul Watson said this morning.

The incidents involved the five "randomly targeting" campers.

Watson described the thieves as "opportunists".

Some of the vehicles entered were unlocked while the occupants of others had let the thieves in under false pretences.

"These people were out targeting anyone who they believed were a soft option," Watson said.

"Some of the campervans were unsecured but also I understand they (the thieves) were knocking on campervan doors."

They were using the pretence of needing to use the toilet or "making excuses" to gain entry.

"There were threats made," Watson said.

He reassured the public, and particularly visitors, that the West Coast was still a safe place for tourists.

Police would be visiting known camping spots and campers to post information.

"I think most tourists are safe - as long as they are locked up and secure," he said.
Detective sergeant Kirsten Norton, of Greymouth CIB, said none of the victims - all overseas tourists - was injured during the robberies.

"They were understandably shaken and are being supported by their embassies and Victim Support," Norton said.

Police wanted to hear from anyone in the wider Greymouth area who saw a red older model Subaru Justy hatchback between 8pm on Monday and 2am yesterday. Information can be passed on to Greymouth police on 03 768 1600, or anonymously via CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800 555 111.