Police have arrested three people in relation to a carjacking where trainee engineer Rupert Ellis-Jones lost vital paperwork needed to finish his four-year apprenticeship.

The 23-year-old had been reading an e-book at the Awatoto lookout last Tuesday about 5.30pm when he was approached by two men who forced him out of his white 1992 Subaru Impreza with a sharpened screwdriver.

He was not concerned by the loss of his car, phone and other material items but was desperate to find three-and-a-half years' worth of papers and process sketches that were in the boot.

Any work not recovered would need to be re-done before November when he was due to finish the apprenticeship.

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Detective Sergeant John McCarthy said police tracked the alleged offenders to Levin where Mr Ellis-Jones' possessions were found.

"A quantity of those papers were located along with other property."

The trio consisting of a young woman, 18, and two young men aged 16 and 26, are alleged to have committed other crimes between Levin and Napier.

They appeared in Levin District Court yesterday on charges of aggravated robbery, unlawfully taking a car and two thefts.

Hawke's Bay Today was unable to contact Mr Ellis-Jones yesterday.