Thieves and vandals targeting abandoned homes in Christchurch's red zone are being warned they may get caught on camera.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority has security cameras on homes bought by the Government after they were deemed uninhabitable.

There are over 7800 homes in the red zone and the cameras are moved around the properties.

"Some of the homes have been bought off the former owner under option 2 of the red zone offer process, which means their value needs to be worked through with the relevant insurer," Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority red zone security manager Brenden Winder said.


"Thefts and vandalism can devalue the house which may leave the taxpayer out of pocket so we need to protect the Crown's assets while this process is underway."

Images released today show a man who appears to be stealing insulation from one of the homes.

Police were alerted when the camera's motion sensor was triggered but failed to the man.

They were currently trying to who find out he was, Christchurch police spokesman Stephen Hill said.

"We have a security firm working 24/7 in the residential red zone to patrol and keep an eye out for anything untoward," Mr Winder said.

"Police also patrol the red zone regularly."

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