A stolen caravan that represented the retirement plan and years of savings for a Canterbury couple is believed to have been spotted in Horowhenua.
The $80,000 Jayco Sterling Outback was taken from Tony Stead and Mandy Musk's Rangiora property around March 26 while they were away.
Stead said his widely shared Facebook posts about the theft had brought in multiple sightings and that witnesses reported seeing a caravan fitting the description, including distinctive and unique decorative features, in Foxton Beach on Friday morning.
The vehicle was also believed to have been recently sighted in Himatangi Beach and was earlier spotted in Whanganui, he said.
The caravan, which is a 7.6m, self-contained, double axle model has several unique decals on the rear, including the phrases "It's 5 O'clock somewhere", "Grey Nomads on board" and "16 metres to pass".
The caravan is a special, extra-height vehicle with a high clearance designed to allow it to access more locations.
It also has a grey awning which is visible when rolled up or extended, which is different from the standard white awnings common to similar Jayco caravans.
The registration plate on the vehicle is 5U701, although this may have been changed, and it also has a welded chassis number on the drawbar beam, which is R70291.
The couple purchased the caravan as a retirement bach, and were also using it as a base for their photography business. In an open letter to the thieves Stead said the couple were heartbroken by the theft.
"What you have achieved is to remove...a semi retired lifestyle Mandy and I had," he wrote.
"Just for one minute think of $80,000... [have you] any idea how many years we needed to do this work to pay for this caravan you stole?"
Stead said he had been passing along all information he had received about sightings of the caravan to the police but had not yet heard back about any progress or whether the Horowhenua sightings had been followed up.
A police spokesperson said an officer had been allocated to the case, but was unable to provide any response to questions by the Horowhenua Chronicle by time of publication.
A Foxton woman who did not want to be named said she had seen a caravan fitting the description.
"I didn't really see much, just spotted it parked up down a street in Foxton Beach, then I saw the shared post of it missing the next day," she said.
"[I] went for a drive to see if I could find it, then contacted the owner and informed him and the police."
She said she had noticed the wheels and the height off the ground of the vehicle, although would have taken more notice if she had been aware of the stolen caravan at the time.
Other locals had posted on a Foxton Beach Facebook page that they had seen the missing caravan, she said.
Stead said he was very grateful to the local people in Horowhenua who had responded to his Facebook posts and that several had even been out actively looking for the caravan on his behalf.
"An awful lot of people have been willing to share and look, we really want to thank everybody," he said.
If you have any information about the caravan, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or Levin Police on 366 0500.