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Police are urging people to let them know if they have a vehicle stuck in Christchurch's quake-ravaged central business district.

"We are working very hard to reunite as many owners and their vehicles as quickly as we can, but we still have large numbers of unidentified vehicles and the recovery programme will not continue indefinitely," Senior Sergeant Graham Reeves said.

From Monday, the Vehicle Recovery Team will reduce its operating hours and he encouraged people to contact police as soon as possible if they still had a car in the CBD.

"If you do not give us the keys or tell us where the vehicle is, it is very difficult for us to ensure that you get it back," he said.

Police had also set up a vehicle finder database to update owners about damaged cars, he said.

The team had returned more than 3280 vehicles to their owners but the number of vehicles registered with police indicated many cars were unaccounted for.

- NZPA