Paihia police are in the unusual position of having a confession to two crimes but no victims.
Now they are calling for people to come forward if their bag was snatched or their car broken in to between 1 and 3pm on April 2 in Paihia.
Senior Constable Neil Vartan said a 14-year-old Kawakawa boy had admitted both offences but could not be held to account until the victims were found.
The bag snatch occurred near the carpark and the Countdown store on Williams Rd. The boy was pursued by members of the public who recovered the bag after he threw it to an innocent bystander, who caught it on reflex.
The pursuers returned the bag to its owner, described only as an older woman, who left without making a complaint.
Police later identified the offender, who also admitted breaking into a car parked in a service lane between Marsden Rd and Selwyn Rd, near the fire station.
Police found broken glass at the scene but the car, which the boy could describe only as "flash" and possibly silver in colour, had left. Again no complaint was made.
Mr Vartan said he contacted the cruise ship that was in the Bay that day but none of the passengers reported having a bag snatched.
He asked the victims, or anyone who knew who they were, to contact him so the boy could he held to account. Mr Vartan can be contacted on email@example.com or by leaving a message on his phone, (09) 404 3153.