Two Frenchwomen on a working holiday are left broke and with only the clothes they stand in after their camper van was stolen outside an Auckland supermarket.
Their losses include $1500 in cash each - their earnings from a month's solid work as waitresses.
The theft of their gear and the white van, which the women bought in October at the start of their trip, happened only 10 days after thieves broke into a campervan in Auckland's High St and stole clothes and passports belonging to four German tourists.
The latest van-theft victims, Anna-Ael Mordelet, 29 and Floriane Lesourd, 28, of Rennes, in Brittany, parked their Ford Econovan in Scotland St, near the New World supermarket in Freemans Bay, just after 4pm on Saturday, January 28.
"We left it only 40 minutes and when we came back there was nothing," Ms Lesourd said yesterday.
"We normally don't have this money and passports in the van.
"But this time we had money from working without a break and we don't take everything out to shop, because it is like our house."
The women - both social workers back in Rennes - say they are broke.
They are seeing little of Auckland while they stay at a backpackers' hostel anxiously awaiting news from the police about their van.
"All our ID papers, all the clothes, cameras, money, sleeping bags have gone," said Ms Mordelet.
"All our camera memory cards of the country for four months have gone.
"All we have is two van keys."
Ms Lesourd said a particular blow was the loss of both her contact lenses and spectacles.
The night before the women went to shop they had returned from Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf where they worked as waitresses for a month - without a break.
They had picked up their van and all their gear from storage at a friend's place and slept in the van overnight.
It being a Saturday, they had no chance to deposit their wages in the bank.
"We had just come back from a fantastic time on the island and thought nobody steal it because it's like everybody is friendly over here ... and we were tired," said Ms Lesourd.
The women said they locked the van but there was no window glass on the road.
The pair are in New Zealand on a working holiday visa and as well as their working stint on the island have been to the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty regions.
Their interest in social work led them to spend a week at Te Matai Maori School in Te Puke.
In order to carry on touring the country, they need the money to travel to the French Embassy in Wellington to have their fingerprints taken for new passports.
Auckland police have no reports of sightings of the women's 1986 Ford Econovan, registration number NE 3948.