A Christchurch couple have returned home to find up to $6000 of their belongings allegedly stolen by their house-sitter who they let into their property on a friend's recommendation.
Lauren Metcalfe and her husband returned to New Zealand on Monday after spending three weeks over Christmas-New Year in the United Kingdom visiting unwell relatives.
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During that period they allowed a South African man, vouched to them by a longstanding work friend of Metcalfe, to live in their home in the suburb of Parklands.
Metcalfe told the Herald ever since they returned earlier this week they have realised more and more of their items are missing.
"It's really just been small stuff that's easy to make a quick buck like jewellery," Metcalfe said.
"We just keep finding more and more stuff to be honest but the house looks fine. You walk into the house and it doesn't really look like there's been a problem.
"Which is why we keep finding things because it's the small stuff that was sort of hidden."
Police confirmed they are following active lines of inquiry in relation to a report of theft at the address, made on Wednesday, January 15.
"These inquiries include a review of any available evidence, including potential CCTV footage. Police will continue to make inquiries into the matter," NZ Police confirmed in a statement.
Metcalfe says the most disturbing thing about the whole incident was that he was also minding their dog and they don't know if he was treated properly.
She believes her house sitter has an open-ended ticket back to South Africa flying out of Auckland - but first has to round up the cash to get from Christchurch to Auckland.
They believed he was trying to fly out of the country this weekend.
"The police, what comes across is their hands are tied. I mean we've given them a voice recording of admitting half of the stuff, and they're saying they don't have enough evidence.
"It seems like they're just too busy to handle it because it's been three and a half days now and nothing has happened."
The mutual friend who put the Metcalfe in touch with his South African school mate to house sit is highly embarrassed by the situation.
"The friend of ours had no idea and is completely devastated that he's put us in this situation, and has been helping us a lot, sort of build the case," she said.
"You know, get evidence against him, which we've sent to the police and not got anywhere with."
Yet, Metcalfe was still trying to give her house sitter as much benefit of the doubt as possible, as she continued to deal with the thefts.
"We've been in touch with his family and they all seem like decent people, and my thoughts are possibly he's an okay guy that's just lost his way," she said.