Piles of socks, underwear, leggings, and even a bikini have been mysteriously going missing in the seaside suburb of Sumner in Christchurch.
But one resident has identified the thief – her cat.
Mette Kristiansen says her one-and-half-year-old cat, Jasper, has been caught red-pawed with ill-gotten gains clutched in his claws.
It's now so bad this week Kristiansen has been busy dropping off flyers to her neighbours in a two-block radius around her home.
"We got him when he was a kitten and started doing this burglarising about Christmas last year," she said.
Jasper's main target seems to be socks, but he had also claimed gardening and working gloves, leggings, and shoes.
One neighbour reported him stealing a bikini.
"I have heard that he definitely does gets into people's homes, he walks down their hallway and into their bedrooms. I've heard tales of him going upstairs...even houses with dogs. He makes friends with the dogs."
Kristiansen said Jasper seemed to be "an incredibly intelligent cat".
"One day I was in my bedroom and I think he was wanting attention - he jumped up on my duchess where my drawer was open a fraction. He put his paw down, got one little claw out, picked up one of my socks and flung it on the floor. He then did it again."
Each day Jasper could steal up to five items.
"He comes through our cat flap and just drops them in the hallway after his rampages around the neighbourhood overnight. Sometimes he gets a bit lazy and drops them around the garden."
Each day she puts two large bins out by her front door filled with stolen items so her neighbours could collect anything stolen.
Despite being a "wee bit worried" about the reaction from neighbours, Kristiansen said most people "love the story and find it extremely entertaining".
"I don't think a lot of people realise they are missing items...that's why I'm finding it really hard to return things to people," she said.
A Facebook page had also been set up.
Neighbour, Brooke Carroll, and her three children – 7, 5, and 2 - were just some of Jasper's victims.
"He will steal socks...he steals lots from the clothesline, he's stolen upwards of 50 socks."
The morning after Halloween they saw a bikini Jasper had stolen hanging on the front fence.
"The kids think it is hilarious...they can't find their rugby socks so we go and look in the Jasper bin."
Kristiansen spoke to Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB on Friday.